Breaks lost pressure, but still stop the vehicle

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-23-10, 09:25 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 107
Breaks lost pressure, but still stop the vehicle

I have a 1995 dodge ram 1500.

Let me tell you the extent of the entire 5 min event:

First, I turned the truck on after maybe 1 month of inactivity (I use the truck rarely, usually for picking up stuff at home depot, even more rare is using it to drive to work)

When I took the emergency break off (i activate it when I turn the truck off and get out) and then put the truck into drive, I notice the truck didnt start to move, usually the idle makes it move a little bit. I hit the gas a little and it finally started to move, but first it jerked as though it got un-stuck from something. I was told recently my transmission fluid needs to be flushed; so maybe this has something to do with it but maybe the breaks were stuck; i dont know.

As I was driving to the stop light at low speed i applied the break. Nothing was wrong so far but then all of a sudden the break paddle felt like it lost pressure immediately and it felt as though the breaks loosened up. The breaks still worked but I came to a stop a little further than I was expecting. At the time I was anticipating that the truck was going to continue to roll into the street.

The breaks do work, but feel very loose compared to what they felt like before. Further more, the break light is on (usually this is on when my emergency break is activated) and the ABS light is on.

What could be the problem? Better question, what do I start to check?

I doubt the break lines are busted, because if they were (like a burst in the line) the breaks wouldnt work at all right? I'm not a car guy though, so please tell me if my assumptions are wrong.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-23-10, 09:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,512
"I doubt the break lines are busted, because if they were (like a burst in the line) the breaks wouldnt work at all right?"

I would say wrong. Never owned a RAM but every vehicle I've owned has a master cylinder that is divided in two sections.....one for front brakes and one for the rear. If you get a leak in say the rear, your front brakes will still work.

I'd look at your master cylinder, I'll bet one side will be empty.

Baldwin
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-10, 10:21 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,219
.... and it doesn't have to be a clean break, it could be a rust hole letting the fluid come out when it's under pressure [braking] Inspecting the underside of the truck should reveal a wet area. A wet wheel/drum would indicate a busted wheel cylinder.

The warning light will come on when the fluid level is low, it uses the same light for the e-brake.

btw- the old trucks with drum brakes on all 4 wheels had a single reservoir for the brake fluid. Not sure if that changed with the introduction of disc brakes or sometime before that.
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-10, 11:32 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,760
It definitely sounds like a loss of fluid - had something similar happen when a car blew a wheel cylinder

Nice of the pickup truck in front of me to help me stop the vehicle
 
  #5  
Old 08-23-10, 12:53 PM
ASE MASTER's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 560
(QUOTE) I hit the gas a little and it finally started to move, but first it jerked as though it got un-stuck from something.

Sounds like the emergency brake is getting hung up. You should be able to spin the rear wheels easily by hand. If the “Emergency brake” is getting hung up, it means that the brake shoes are still pressing against the drum. This is something you will see and hear when trying to spin the drums with the wheels off.

(Quote) I was told recently my transmission fluid needs to be flushed;

Never flush the transmission fluid. Just do a regular fluid and filter screen change every 30.000 miles.

(Quote) but then all of a sudden the break paddle felt like it lost pressure immediately and it felt as though the breaks loosened up.

(Quote) The breaks still worked but I came to a stop a little further than I was expecting.

(Quote) The breaks do work, but feel very loose compared to what they felt like before. Further more, the break light is on.

Confirm the level of brake fluid. Get the truck on a lift and up in the air with the wheels off. Pull the rear drums and make sure the wheel cylinders aren’t leaking. Make sure the front calipers aren’t leaking. Make sure none of the lines are leaking. “Big Picture” is that it may be time to replace the master cylinder.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes