Mechanics

DODGE DAKOTA BRAKES PROBLEM

2006 Dodge Dakota • 176,000 miles

I've replaced hubs, brake pads, passenger front caliper, and passenger front rotor, on my 2006 Dodge Dakota Laramie V-6. I've bled the brakes several time in sequence, passenger rear, driver rear, passenger front, driver front. If I pump up the brakes, they fee spongey. If I take my foot off of the brakes for a few seconds, I have to pump them again. What am I doing wrong?
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Slumbucket
February 18, 2013.



At any time did you push the brake pedal all the way to the floor? Either to run the new piston out to contact the pads or while bleeding with a helper? If you did, chances are the master cylinder has been damaged. That will usually cause the red warning light to turn on. If you are able to pump the pedal up and make it high and firm, more likely the rear drum brakes are out of adjustment.

Caradiodoc
Feb 18, 2013.
There is no warning light. Can you still adjust the rear brakes by driving in reverse and hitting the brakes or do you have to do it manually? I will try to bleed them again, after I adjust them. Thank you for your time!

Tiny
Slumbucket
Feb 18, 2013.
They are supposed to adjust when backing up but it is common for the star wheels to rust tight, then the lever skips over it and wears a bald spot in the teeth. It's not uncommon for the adjuster cable to break too. That misadjustment would show up gradually over time as a lower brake pedal but it will still feel firm. Pumping the pedal a few times rapidly will get a higher pedal until you release it for more than a few seconds. If your low pedal started with the recent brake service, there is either still air in the line or the master cylinder lip seals were damaged on the crud and corrosion that build up in the bottoms of the bores they ride in.

If you let the master cylinder run empty while the caliper was off there could be some air in the line to the left caliper or rear wheels. Bleeding those wheels would make the problem worse because that air could travel half way to a wheel and get stuck there. If the reservoir did not run empty, there should be no air in the lines anywhere. When the reservoir does run empty but you catch it just at the last drop, you can avoid having to bleed at the wheels and risking more problems. Fill the reservoir, then slowly push the brake pedal half way to the floor, never more than that. When you release the pedal, let it pop back quickly. Do that a few times. Any air near the master cylinder will have a chance to float back up when you push the pedal slowly, then any bubbles will wash back into the reservoir when the brake fluid comes rushing back.

Caradiodoc
Feb 19, 2013.
Thank you!

Tiny
Slumbucket
Feb 19, 2013.