97 Cavalier braking problem

Tiny
DREAMER37
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
1997 Chevy Cavalier
2 door
124,618 miles
2.2L(I believe)

When stopping at slow speeds, sometimes, the brake pedal is hard and the car jerks a bit, sometimes you get the feeling the car wants to die, but never has yet. This is quite frightening as there is the danger of hitting vehicles in front of you. ABS light never has come on, and therefore there are no error codes. The brakes have been replaced once and the pads on these brakes have been replaced once since purchase (I got lifetime warranty on brakes at time of brake purchase). I can't recall if rotors have ever been replaced or not. Although this is an irregular symptom it's becoming more regular. This problem has never occurred with stopping at higher speeds, but then again I've yet to need to. I maintain this car well with regular oil changes etc.
Example:
Upon leaving department store lot you must stop at a stop light if necessary, speed of car is very slow, and the brakes might feel hard, as in you cant put much pressure on them, and it jerks a bit, as in it's not truley stopping quickly enough. The danger is that you risk hitting the car in front of you. When this happens, and I am almost use to it, I push hard as I can on the brake pedal, and so far no wreck.
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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 AT 8:42 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
DREAMER37
  • MEMBER
I DID THESE AND PASSED ALL:

Test 1

With the engine off, pump the brake pedal to remove any residual vacuum in the booster.
Hold pressure on the pedal while you start the engine. When the engine starts, the pedal should drop about a 1/4", this indicates that the booster is working properly.

Test 2

Run the engine a couple of minutes.
Turn the engine off and press the pedal several times slowly. The first pump should be fairly low. The second and third should become slightly firmer. This indicates an airtight booster.

Test 3

Start the engine and press the brake pedal, then stop the engine with the pedal still pressed. If the pedal does not drop after holding the pressure on the pedal for 30 seconds, the booster is airtight.

I DONT HAVE THE SKILL, AND HAVEN'T DONE THESE:

Inspect the Check Valve

Disconnect the vacuum hose where it connects to the intake manifold. Do not disconnect the vacuum line from the booster. Air should not flow when pressure is applied, but should flow when suction is applied. If air flows in both directions or there is no air flow, the valve needs to be replaced.
Verify Enough Vacuum

Check the operating vacuum pressure when the engine is at normal operating temperature. There should be a minimum of 18 in. Of vacuum. Vacuum may be increased by properly tuning the engine, checking for vacuum leaks and blockages in vacuum lines.
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Just giving more info to help others help me!
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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 AT 3:49 PM
Tiny
DREAMER37
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Removed
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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 AT 4:04 PM
Tiny
DREAMER37
  • MEMBER
I phoned my son, an auto mechanic, and he told me to remove the ABS fuse, from under the hood, and if the problem persisted then it was most likely that the brake booster was bad. I removed the fuse 2 days ago and the problem has yet to reoccur. The brakes are still in working order for those who think that brake function may have been lost entirely. I am assuming though that ABS is no longer functional, and I am okay with that.
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Sunday, July 8th, 2007 AT 7:35 PM
Tiny
NICKN
  • MEMBER
Sounds like either the abs sensor went bad, or the whole abs system is shot. Weird!
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Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 AT 6:16 PM

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