I have a 1995 VW Golf GTI Vr6 and the brake pedal had to be pushed all the way to the floor before stopping, checked fluid level and it was just under dipstick, added fluid and unless I pump brakes a couple times it still has to be pressed to floor, dont see any leaking, advice?
If you had to add brake fluid, it had to go somewhere. Leaking rear wheel cylinders and a leaking master cylinder are two common places where the leakage doesn't show up very easily. Check for fluid running down the inside of one of the rear tires. To check the master cylinder, it might be necessary to remove it from the booster. If you don't have power brakes, look for fluid running down the inside of the firewall in front of the brake pedal.
May, 12, 2011 AT 4:04 PM
So if I find a leak on the inside of the rear wheel then I would need to replace the rear wheel cylinder and if it is on the firewall I should replace the master cylinder?
May, 12, 2011 AT 4:30 PM
Yup. Gotta determine where that fluid went.
Also, as the front brakes wear, the pistons in the calipers move out to self-adjust, and fluid takes up the space behind them. That will cause the fluid level in the reservoir to go down, but there is enough extra fluid there to prevent it from running dry and drawing in air. Worn front pads should not cause a mushy pedal. When new pads are needed and installed, the pistons are forced back into the calipers and that fluid is pushed back up into the reservoir. There needs to be room for that fluid; that's why we don't top it off during other routine service such as oil changes. If it's over-filled when the brake work is done, it won't hurt anything; it will just make a mess that has to be cleaned up after the extra fluid spills out.
Another thing to look at is the rear drum brakes. If the self-adjusters have stopped working, the shoes will have to move too far before they contact the drums. That too will cause a low brake pedal but there will not be a leak. The clue is the pedal will get higher and harder if you pump it rapidly a few times, then hold it. It will get low again after you release it for a few seconds and apply it again.
Now that you've added fluid, if the level stays up but the pedal is soft, check the rear brakes. If the level goes down noticeably again, there is a leak. If the level goes down slowly, as in it takes a couple of days to notice the change, suspect rear wheel cylinders or the master cylinder. If the fluid goes down after a dozen pedal applications, there is a much faster leak that should be easy to spot under the car. Ruptured rubber hoses, one by each wheel, and rusty steel lines, commonly under the door area, are common causes.
May, 12, 2011 AT 4:49 PM
I will check all, its my sons car so you know how that is, I will keep you informed, thanks for the expert knowledge! I am military so I don't have alot of free time or money to spend so the advice is greatly appreciated
May, 12, 2011 AT 5:03 PM
Thank you for your service.
I'll be out-of-town for a few hours. If you reply, I'll see it tonight. Don't want you to think I'm ignoring you.