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Old 06-09-2014, 10:31 AM   #1
boyd4715
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2008 AURA XE
Default 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

I just replaced both front rotors, calipers, pads (ceramic) along with the brake lines (calipers were frozen and one pad was nothing but metal).

I then bled the lines starting right rear, left rear, right front then right left front - engine off - keeping the brake fluid full.

I did this a few times - with an assistance - had them pump the brakes until rock hard, then I opened the line as they slowly applied pressure. As they were close to the bottom of the push closed it. Repeated this for all the brakes.

Took for a test drive and the brake pedal went down to the floor - the car did stop but very scary. I can pump the pedal which will build some resistance to it but that is short lived.

So my question is what is going on/what or how to troubleshoot this issue? Or is this a job for the shop?

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Old 06-09-2014, 03:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

Quote:
Originally Posted by boyd4715 View Post
I just replaced both front rotors, calipers, pads (ceramic) along with the brake lines (calipers were frozen and one pad was nothing but metal).

I then bled the lines starting right rear, left rear, right front then right left front - engine off - keeping the brake fluid full.

I did this a few times - with an assistance - had them pump the brakes until rock hard, then I opened the line as they slowly applied pressure. As they were close to the bottom of the push closed it. Repeated this for all the brakes.

Took for a test drive and the brake pedal went down to the floor - the car did stop but very scary. I can pump the pedal which will build some resistance to it but that is short lived.

So my question is what is going on/what or how to troubleshoot this issue? Or is this a job for the shop?
Is fluid spewing out anywhere? If no, sounds like some air in there somewhere.

I'd recheck the fitting to see if tight. I'd go back over the lines too. If everything is okay, try re-bleeding. Last but not least, sounds like a possible master cylinder failure.

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Old 06-09-2014, 03:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

Is there a test that can be done to determine if the Master Cylinder is bad?

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Old 06-09-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

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Is there a test that can be done to determine if the Master Cylinder is bad?
Not that I am aware of, may need a Google on that. But start small, try re bleeding. Was the brakes nice and firm then all of a sudden the pedal dropped to the floor?

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Old 06-09-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

The brake is very firm without the car running - once I start the car and apply the brake it goes to the floor. The car does stop but not quickly. If you pump the brakes a few times before applying them then it is firm but when that event is over, you have to repeat again otherwise the pedal goes right to the floor.

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Old 06-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

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Is there a test that can be done to determine if the Master Cylinder is bad?
A worn out master cylinder simply allows brake fluid to flow around worn out seals or damaged pistons resulting in the pedal falling to the floor with the engine OFF. This presumes the rest of the brake system isn't leaking or air allowed into it.

With engine off (no power assisted vacuum boost), pressing the brake pedal is all hydraulic action of pushing brake fluid out the m/c, thru brake lines, to each caliper piston to press against brake pads being forced into rotors. All brake fluid, presuming no air in the system. Even if calipers were replaced, new calipers need to be filled from the flush/bleeding procedures. The correct sequence of starting from RR/LF and LR/RF is recommended due to design of two separate master cylinders creating a dual diagonal brake system; one half is right rear/left front, the other half is left rear/right front - two separate brake systems designed for safety if one brake line ruptures; half the brake system still works and better than none with two separate pistons inline in the m/c pushing fluid into two halves of the brake system. The person pumping the brake pedal is supposed to pump until resistance is felt and holding pedal down while the bleeder is loosening the bleed screw to allow air and old fluid out. Once a bleed screw is opened the pedal person keeps pressure on the pedal until the pedal goes to the floor when the bleed person closes off the bleed screw. The bleeder tells the pedal operator to slowly release pedal so fresh fluid is fed into the m/c to fill the empty space that was pumped out. Slowly releasing the pedal prevents sucking in air in the reservoir as the port hole is small and releasing the pedal quickly can suck in air instead of brake fluid. If the bleeder doesn't close off the bleed screw, releasing brake pedal can suck air back into the open bleed port (or the m/c). Using a tube connected to the bleed screw, other end immersed in fluid helps but isn't perfect as air can be sucked around the bleed screw threads when the pedal operator releases pedal too quickly. Suction is created when pedal is released and oil is thicker than air - the reason to slowly release pedal to allow oil to fill the ma/c. Once released, the pedal operator pumps the pedal slowly to build up pressure until the pedal feels firm and holding pedal down to signal the bleeder to open the bleed valve again. The second time should result in more old fluid rushing out as the pedal is forced to the floor when the bleed screw is closed. Once closed the bleeder tells the pedal operator to slowly release pedal again to allow fresh fluid to fill the m/c. Repeat as needed until all old dark fluid is flushed/bled out and new fluid appears. Very little fluid is used as the whole brake system uses less than a quart of fluid, most of it in the reservoir. The small brake lines allows brake hydraulic pressure to build up quickly. When new fresh light colored brake fluid comes out the bleed port, close off this caliper and begin the while procedure again on the other caliper; right rear and left front are one half of the brake system, right front and left rear are the other half. When done correctly, pedal travel becomes less as old fluid and any air is removed. Sometimes, tapping the new caliper can help move air trapped inside to move upwards towards the bleed screw. Tap a few times before each bleed operation until fluid flows without air in it. The bleed screw doesn't need to be opened more than half a turn from closed.

When flushing/bleeding is done correctly, the pedal operator will feel the pedal firm up without saying anything as the tag team of a two person bleed operation progresses. Once all is said and done, the pedal should stop with less than a few inches of travel and the operator should be able to stand on the pedal as if this were a life and death emergency braking situation. The target of every flush/bleed procedure is to have a firm pedal that does not fall to the floor. All done with engine OFF. Once achieved, the engine running creates intake vacuum for the brake power assist unit to multiply pedal effort so less leg power is needed to stop a car. The engine is never used to flush or bleed a brake system because no one can tell the difference between power assisted braking used to flush/bleed a system with the pedal feeling mushy or an incorrectly flushed/bled brake system done without engine power. No one.

If you find it difficult or puzzling about brake flushing/bleeding procedures, it may be wiser to carefully bring you car to a brake shop and let them perform another complete brake flush or bleed until the error is corrected (pedal falling to the floor on one pedal application). Brake system maintenance is as not easy when unfamiliar with problems and safety becomes an issue.

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Old 07-19-2014, 10:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

Well - it turns out that I had the brake calipers upside down - imagine that.

Once I correct that issue - all was great.

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Old 07-19-2014, 11:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

Amazing................ The brake hose didn't appear stretched?

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Old 07-20-2014, 04:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

i wouldn't of thought it was even possible.

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Old 07-21-2014, 10:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2008 Saturn Aura - Brake Pedal goes to the floor

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Well - it turns out that I had the brake calipers upside down - imagine that.

Once I correct that issue - all was great.
I'm imagining a caliper/rotor/bracket.... and I'm having a hard time understanding how that is even possible...?

So you mean you had the driver's caliper on the passenger side, and pass on driver?

I don't see how the brake hose would've reached.

I don't see how the wheels would've cleared.

I don't see how the slide pins woud've fit.

Can you go put it backwards again and post up a pic for my enjoyment?

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