2001 Caravan breaking problem

Tiny
MOLTON
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 133,000 MILES
My 2001 dodge Caravan breaks sometimes looses pressure and the break pedal goes almost to the floor before I get any. I can pump the break pedal and get the pressure back up only to have it happen again the next time I break. The problem comes and goes. If I let it sit for 1/2 and hour or so the breaks work just fine sometimes for an hour or a few days or a week. There is usually a burning or overheating smell when they start acting up.
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 6:30 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Taking the two symptoms together suggests the brake fluid has been contaminated with petroleum product such as engine oil or power steering fluid. Remove the reservoir cap and inspect the rubber bladder seal under it. If it is blown up and mushy, we have problems. If it looks normal, you may simply have a defective master cylinder that is leaking internally intermittently.
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
It sounds like the fluid is boiling from overheating and then the master will float as the fluid is airated. Have the brakes checked for frozen calipers or collapsed brake hoses.

Roy
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 10:54 PM
Tiny
MOLTON
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much. I will look into your advice. My mechanic really wants to drive while the problem is occurring so he can feel it for himself. He's thinking master but doesn't want to start an expensive repair if thats not the problem. There is a smell like something is cooking, not really a burning smell, when the brakes start acting up. There is squeaking from one or more of the wheels that quits when I break and resumes when coasting slowly. It seems that normal city short trips don't cause the problem. It's only after about an hour or so of driving that the problem starts. I just had all the fluids checked and topped off and oil change and lube. Thanks again for your help.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 AT 2:47 AM

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