Brakes not working after being involved in an accident

  • 1 POST
  • 3.6L
  • V6
  • RWD
  • 45,000 MILES

I had recently had mechanical work done to my vehicle because of a minor accident (accident had caused wheel to completely break off and become unattached to my vehicle on my drivers side) that had occurred. Instead of going to my insurance for future financial situations, I instead purchased parts for my wheel and had my personal mechanic do the labor. After the labor was complete I went to pick my vehicle up only to realize my brakes were not working. My brake peddle goes all the way down to the floor board. My mechanic says the accident had also caused my brake booster on my drivers side to go out. He says all I need is a new brake booster on my drivers side for the brakes to be able to work again. I do not know the first thing about cars and I am also a twenty year old kid, so any advice or help would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 4:41 PM

1 Reply

  • 29,777 POSTS

The first problem, I hope, is the terminology. There is only one power brake booster. That sits under the hood, attached to the firewall. Its only job is to make the brake pedal easier to push. It does not affect how far the pedal goes.

If the wheel broke off, I suspect the spindle or wheel bearing assembly broke. Wheels usually bend. Regardless, if it got hit that hard, my suspicion is the rubber flexible brake hose got torn off. It's odd your mechanic would let that go unrepaired and expect you to drive away.

That hose is not real difficult to repair, especially on a car as new as yours that will not have much rust. What you should be aware of, and for future reference, is crud and corrosion build up in the lower halves of the two bores in the brake master cylinder where the pistons do not normally travel. When you pushed the brake pedal all the way to the floor, you ran those pistons, and their rubber lip seals, over that crud, and that may have ripped them. This is rarely a problem when the car or the replacement master cylinder is less than about a year old. It does become a problem when do-it-yourselfers or inexperienced mechanics use a helper to pedal-bleed the brake system and they push the pedal all the way to the floor. The damage can also occur when a driver is surprised by a sudden, unexpected leak.

The symptom of a failed seal in the master cylinder is the brake pedal sinks slowly to the floor, and that often does not show up until two or three days after the leak was repaired. Many conscientious mechanics who have your best interest at heart will usually include a new, (rebuilt), master cylinder in a repair estimate when there is a chance it was damaged. They are not very expensive, and do not take real long to replace. It is hard to say if your car will need a replacement, but it is best to simply be aware of the possibility. Too often a mechanic will find a replacement is necessary after the other repairs are completed. Naturally the customer assumes he did not diagnose or repair the problem correctly, or he is trying to sell unneeded parts, but that is not the case.

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Monday, January 9th, 2017 AT 5:02 PM

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