Mechanics

SPONGY BRAKE PEDAL...EVEN AFTER BLEEDING

2004 Dodge Caravan

Brakes problem
2004 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 145, 00 miles

Hi, I put new pads & rotors on the front of my 2004 Grand Caravan ( front disc / rear drum ). Which I've done a few tmes before with no problems. Until now. I started at right front, took the caliper off, pads off and proceeded to push the piston back in with a c-clamp. After I did that successfully, I remembered that I didn't remove the master cylinder cap. Thinking there was no harm done, I finished the r/f brakes, proceeded to do the L/F but, decided to remove the M/C cap before pushing the piston in. Finished the L/F brakes no problem. Went to back out of the garage and the brakes would not " pump up"! OK, that never happened before, so I decided to bleed just the front, figuring the rears weren't affected and actuslly, I'm not quite sure how air would've gotten in the lines anyway. Aggravation sets in and I figured to bring it to a garage to let them look at it. The garage said it was a bad master cylinder. They installed a new cylinder, checked the rear brakes, bled all the brakes and said the pedal was good. Wonderful! I hop in the car start it and the pedal goes right to the floor! Wait, I shouldn't say that exactly because while I do have SOME braking, the pedal is spongy and when I keep my foot on it (say at a light) it will keep the braking but, the pedal will " weep" down to the floor? Bring it back to the garage and they say it has to be a bad M/C. OK, I'll buy that so, I leave it for 2 days and they call and say " we brought the car in the bay and the pedal pumped-up fine but, we noticed a " grabbing" on the R/R wheel, which we found was a blown wheel cylinder, which we replaced, bled the system, drove it around and it's working great. It wasn't a bad M/C afterall" OK, now they got it! Picked it up, after hours and wouldn't you know it. The same FREAKIN' problem is happening as when I first drove it in! I am totally baffled! I am getting braking but, the pedal is drifting rapidly to the floor! Is there any way it could be that the BRAND NEW master cylinder is still bad (entirely possible) or could it somehow be a bad brake booster? I'm at a loss and apparently so is the garage! I apologize that the donation isn't super high ( which I'm sorry for) but this brake problem is rapidly draining our finances. Which are slim to begin with.I sure would appreciate any help you could provide! Thank you.
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BC11860
April 4, 2009.




Bleeding sequence here is LR,RF,RR,LF


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_Caravan_Bleed_1.jpg


It sounds like a bad master, or not properly bench bled Of course with 145,000 if these are still original calipers, you may have pushed some sludge into the hieght sensing prop valve, or the abs system, is abs or red brake light on?

Merlin2021
Apr 4, 2009.
Thank you for the reply Merlin, Those are indeed the original calipers. As I mentioned before, I've done brakes many, many times and this is a first for me. I'm not an auto mechaic by any means.I am a turf equipment mechanic at a local golf course, which I work on anyrthing from small lawn mowers, to construction equipment, to our own road vehicles, so I can get around autos decent. Not great but, decent! I'm not sure what to do next, well, yes I do know I need to reapir ASAP but, I can't see bringing it back to the garage as we're not on the same page as to what the pedal should feel like. I'm into them for $300.00 for a situation which hasn't gotten better one bit. Is there anything you've mention, besides the bleeding sequence, which I can handle myself (ie, prop valve) or do I bring it to the dealer and hopefully let them figure it out? I wish I had the money to let the dealer have a go at it, believe me. But I don't. I suppose I could do the old beg, borrow or steal, which we're doing already ( except the stealing part, of course ). Thanks again for your reply and any further help will be greatly apprteciated! Brian

Tiny
BC11860
Apr 4, 2009.
Sorry Merlin, I for got to answer your question about the ABS / brake light. No, there are no lights that have come on, at all. Thanks, Brian

Tiny
BC11860
Apr 4, 2009.
Start by getting four hose clamps and clamp at each whell, pedal should now be very high and hard. If not air is trapped in the system before the wheels, and further bleeding is needed. If it is high and hard, have some one hold the pedal as you remove the clamps, one at a time, when you get to the bad wheel, the pedal will drop. Then inspect the hydraulics at that location, My suspicion is the hydarulics at all four whhels need replacing, 145,000 is almost unheard of without even a small leak past the seal.
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Merlin2021
Apr 5, 2009.
What was the result or end repair

Tiny
Akes1
Jan 10, 2010.
This was way back in April, so it's probably fixed, and I'm guessing one or more caliper had a seal leaking.

Merlin2021
Jan 11, 2010.

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