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Brake pedal goes a long way before brakes are applied

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by dumbledore, Jun 21, 2014.

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  1. dumbledore

    dumbledore Member

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    Hi there!

    I got a Freelander last December. That's my first car, and I'm quite happy with it as I find it perfectly suitable for my needs - I live in a rural hilly area and there's a quarter of a mile of dirt road to go, so it's indeed most adequate. And it sort of suits my driving style (though obviously I'm still learning) as well.

    The car is a 1999 Freelander with a diesel 2.0l Rover engine.

    I've been feeling the brakes lose responsiveness in the last couple of months. It's never been drastic, but now they need to be depressed quite some way before they start taking effect. It's as though I've lost the soft path of the pedal, that I use for decelerating, and I have to go directly to the last bit the I use only so often when I have to make a quicker stop. The pedal feels sort of useless - a lot of motion only to need to press it really low and really hard. The car does stop fine, but it's a bit like there's no servo. However, there's no problem with power steering - the wheel turns easily when the car is not moving.

    I had the front brake discs and pads replaced in January, and the brake fluid replaced in February.

    I did check - break fluid's to the top.

    One thing of interest is that the power-steering fluid was just above the 'min' point when the engine was cold, and after going back from the village shop, when the engine was still hot, it was half an inch higher...

    I'm attaching a pic of the break pedal if it might be of interest. I'm really curious what that thing on the right hand side is... it appears to be kind of greasy.

    Any ideas and suggestions would be highly appreciated!

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ZDomZ

    ZDomZ New Member

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    The greasy thing is the steering column - wiggle the steering wheelland watch it move!

    I sounds like there is either air in the system after replacing the fluid. Or a possible is that one or more brake flexi hose may be expanding when you apply the brakes.

    If you don't spanner take it back to the garage that changed the fluid and get them to recheck it.
     
  3. freelander1958

    freelander1958 Active Member

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    worn back brakes ,leak on rear cylinders ,as said before air in system do you have abs ,I just changed abs module and to bleed brakes you have to do it in correct order get them checked and let us know it may help someone else
     
  4. Animal88

    Animal88 Active Member

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    I'd go with air in the system. can't see the steering having any effect on the brakes, to my knowledge its only the old citroens that had all the hydraulics linked so if you lose one you lose everything :eek:
    take it back to the garage that done the brakes and let them know the problem and ask them to rebleed the brakes. I hate doing mg tf's as they seem to have this same problem after a fluid change and require bleeding up then driving then bleeding again to get a good consistent pedal
     
  5. thequeenscheese

    thequeenscheese Well-Known Member

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    Leaky rear cylinder maybe but air the favorite, do you have travel in the pedal once you step on it hard it shouldn't move any further it should stay firm..
     
  6. dumbledore

    dumbledore Member

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    Silly me, completely forgot about the steering wheel! Could it be air though? I mean had the fluid replaced ages ago, and it's only since Friday that the pedal started going nearly all the way down.

    Haven't touched rear brakes at all. Parking brake never operated correctly (have to pull it all the way up, and even then on steep slopes it might fail) so I asked the mechanics to check them, but they said they were fine... My FL does have ABS, yes.

    I meant the servo should be fine (as I suppose it powers both power steering and power braking). Not sure how the brake amplifier works. I always find it funny when I apply the brakes when the engine is idling, that it revs up because of the servo (or at least I think that's why it does it).

    It does go unusually low, but when it starts operating, one can feel the braking power, yet it needs pressing rather harder.

    I'd like to note again that the problem got that bad since Friday. Before that I could feel that the pedal would go a bit lower, but not that low to make feel insecure, or even be certain one is not imagining things. Now it's very distinct.

    As I have at least a day before going have it looked at, and I have little faith in the chaps from the garage (most of them here don't really want to help or do something even if one's ready to pay generously), do you thing if there's something more I can do to further isolate the problem.

    Thanks everyone!

    P.S. If I say something stupid or inappropriate, this would be my ignorance of how things work as a new driver...
     
  7. thequeenscheese

    thequeenscheese Well-Known Member

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    Hmm maybe a shoe has slipped of the rear cylinder or a spring has come off I'd take the drums of first, if it's air I'd expect travel once uve got a firm pedal.
    What happens if you pump it a few times?, is it different with/without engine running?
     
  8. teddywood1

    teddywood1 Well-Known Member

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    is it you have lost the vacuum as you have a vacuum pump on it examine the pipes that come from it, on the td4 where it goes over the gear box the pipe rubs on it and gets a hole in it . I know yours is the old series diesel but could be same thing happening .hope this helps
     
  9. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    The power steering has nothing to do with the brakes. The power steering uses fluid, pumped by an engine driven pump. The brakes are boosted by a vacuum, generate by a vacuum pump on the alternator.
    So no connection with each other.
    I suspect that there is a lot of slack in the rear brakes. The auto adjusters do sieze causing this large pedal travel.
     
  10. thequeenscheese

    thequeenscheese Well-Known Member

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    Deffo check the rears first most likely culprite as midge says auto adjuster might be stuck, or maybe shoes fitted incorrectly or even missing..

    As for vacuum maybe it's had an egr blank without the pipe being blocked off?
     
  11. dumbledore

    dumbledore Member

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    I've observed no difference after pumping the pedal. I can't really test it at the moment without the engine running as there's not much flat road to accelerate/decelerate.

    It did feel very soft even when the engine was cold and I hadn't had the key in.

    After switching off the engine and removing the key it was still soft. Then I engaged the steering wheel lock by wiggling it slightly and it got solid.

    Tried the same thing a second time - it stayed soft then. Perhaps that's normal and I don't understand the reasons behind it?

    Here's a video of me pumping the brake (hope doing it correctly), but it stays soft and resistance is felt only when having the pedal way down:

    Brake issues with my FL. - YouTube

    Couldn't see/hear anything out of the ordinary :-/

    I'll have them have a look at the rears first, thanks. As to the vacuum and the EGR, I really don't know.

    Thanks!
     
  12. ZDomZ

    ZDomZ New Member

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    Get a garage or other mechanic to look at it as you don't really want to mess around with brakes when you don't know what is what.

    Internet diagnosis is not really the way to go with this.
     
  13. dumbledore

    dumbledore Member

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    I'll certainly go to a garage, yet I think gathering some info first from other owners might be beneficial. The the truth is quite a few of the mechanics around here are not concerned very much with accurate analysis or fixing the actual source of the problem rather than "patching things up", so I'm sure those comments here are going to be quite useful :)

    Thanks, and I'll say what happened at the garage.
     
  14. Tannaton

    Tannaton Active Member

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    ^^^^^
    This !

    I had the same problem and I cured it by stripping the rear brakes and manually adjusting them (after grinding the lip off the drums so I could get them on/off easily).

    A tell tale sign is when driving down a quiet country lane with no other traffic at approx 20mph, put the hand brake on slightly (not to lock the wheels) then press the brakes gently a few times, if the extra travel is reduced then slack in the rear brakes is a contributory factor.
     
  15. freelander1958

    freelander1958 Active Member

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    are you loosing fluid check under car if you have fluid running from any wheel but really as said don't mess if you don't know what your doing best of luck hope you get it sorted
     
  16. dumbledore

    dumbledore Member

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    Got new shoes for the rear brakes and now it's actually better than before.

    Thanks everyone!
     
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