Feels like the brakes need to be bled

Tiny
CAR4424
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHRYSLER PACIFICA
  • 3.5L
  • V6
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
The other day a car stopped quickly in front of me and I hit the brakes hard and there was nothing, pedal moved I guess half inch but was hard as a rock then the pedal started moving down normally and had normal braking. The car stopped. Today I was in a parking lot doing about ten mph and slammed on the brakes and the same thing like a wall and then the pedal moved and I had braking and stopped. If I use the brakes like a person would in normal driving they work fine. The brakes start working as soon as the pedal is pushed and a quick stop can be made. The booster seems to be working normal my other car is the same one only a year newer and the pedal is firmer on the 05 and has a better feel but both cars have been the same since we got them. It almost feels like the brakes need to be bleed any help would be appreciated.
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Friday, December 11th, 2015 AT 4:10 PM

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Tiny
MOTOR MASTER
  • EXPERT
Hello my name is Dave.

It doesn't sound like bleeding the brakes would help your problem, air in the system will cause a soft pedal not a hard one. The issue is most likely related to your booster, If you listen for a hissing sound coming from the booster area while the engine is running then it is most likely going bad. You will want to listen both under the hood and under the dash by the brake pedal. If you don't hear any hissing it still could be the booster.

There is a small chance it is the check valve going into the the booster. If you don't hear any hissing then I would recommend replacing it first since it is inexpensive and easy to replace. One simple test is to see if the pedal is stiff shortly after turning the engine off. I have attached a diagram of your booster, the check valve is the fitting where the vacuum hose connects to the booster.

When you got to replace the valve it is best to pump the brakes a few times to make sure there is no vacuum left in the booster which would allow it to suck in debris when you remove the valve. I would also recommend replacing the grommet while your at it. When you go to install the new valve I usually use a little grease on the inside of the grommet to help ease the installation of the valve. And just a quick note, if when you go to pump the brakes they are hard within the first pump or two that would be a strong indicator of a failing check valve.

If you could replace the valve and let us know the results, if it doesn't cure the problem you will most likely need to replace the booster. Please keep us up to date on your progress and thank you for using 2CarPros!
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Thursday, March 11th, 2021 AT 4:24 AM
Tiny
MOTOR MASTER
  • EXPERT
I just wanted to add a link to our tutorial on bleeding brakes, just to make sure we cover all bases.

Here are videos and guide below to help you bleed the brake system correctly:

https://youtu.be/w7gUsj2us0U

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-bleed-or-flush-a-car-brake-system

https://youtu.be/WDxvEQrMkBg
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 4:57 AM

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