Brake pedal travel

Tiny
QUAERES
  • MEMBER
  • 2012 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA
  • 2.5L
  • 5 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 106,000 MILES
Had rear brakes replaced, system "flushed". Picked up car, had no braking until on and almost through the floor. Brake pedal was like stepping on wet sponge. I kept asking about front brakes. Recently had master cylinder and front brakes replaced. Pedal still travels half-way to floor before engaging. I have ABS system (2012 VW Sportwagen) When this car was newer, (I am second owner) or when I have replaced brakes, especially front, barely pressing the pedal would almost give me a whiplash effect. Now, I am afraid to drive my car. Is there something that may have been overlooked by the mechanic? Is it possible that the brakes were not bled properly? Should I ask them about my ABS system? Also, now suddenly, there is a check engine light on with a vacuum code showing up. Is this possibly related? I smelled gasoline my car was brought to me on Friday (19 Nov. '21). This car has never leaked any fluids – ever! Could this be a brake or vacuum hose issue?
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Monday, November 22nd, 2021 AT 11:57 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
SQM
  • EXPERT
Hello,

There are reasons of why the brake pedal can go to the floor. First of all, it could be due to air in the brake lines. Failing master cylinder, leak in the brake system. It can also happen due to having low brake fluid.

It is possible that there is still air in the brake lines and need to be bled. ABS systems require a different bleeding process. Also this vehicle requires a special tool in order to the brakes to be bled properly.
So, bleeding the brakes should be a good first step.

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

https://youtu.be/nQRnKyVyMuQ

I have attached the procedure below.

Please let me know of any questions.
Thank you.
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 AT 11:42 AM
Tiny
QUAERES
  • MEMBER
First off, my car is a "SportWagen", not a sedan. To reference my initial query:

Is there something that may have been overlooked by the mechanic?
> SQM: [Possibly the ABS system was not bled.]
Is it possible that the brakes were not bled properly?
>SQM: [fill in response]
Should I ask them about my ABS system?
>SQM: [fill in response]
Also, now suddenly, there is a check engine light on with a vacuum code showing up. Is this possibly related? I smelled gasoline, very intense odor, when my car was brought to me on Friday (19 Nov. '21). This car has never leaked any fluids ever!
Could this be a brake or vacuum hose issue?
>SQM: [fill in response]

In addition to my previous query, the master cylinder was replaced prior to replacing the front brake pads, (same service ticket) the 'brake wear' light comes on when I start the car. This did not happen prior to recent brake work. Furthermore, the brake pedal goes almost to the floor when I am trying to slow down or stop on the freeway when traffic is backing up ahead or is at less than 20MPH. The brake pedal is 'soft' or 'spongy' but the shop owner keeps trying to tell me that they are fine. These are new brakes all around. Although I was 5 or 6 car lengths from the vehicle in front of me on the freeway, when I pressed the brake pedal pretty firmly, I wound up barely stopping 2' or 3' from the vehicle in front of me.
Is it possible that the booster line has a vacuum leak?
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Sunday, November 28th, 2021 AT 1:44 PM

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