2002 Dodge Intrepid Loss of prower brakes

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 150,000 MILES
2002 dodege intrepid, mechanically excellent(seriously) 150000 problem free. Of course I do my own mainteneance regularly. Problem is I have lost my power brakes. When I depress the brake pedal not only is it very very stiff and hardly moves, but I have no brake pressure. And there is the sound of escaping air coming from the underneath the drivers side of the dashboard just below the steering wheel. I live in New Mexico and recently there was a rain storm and I went through some deep puddles that were muddy, could my calibers be stuck or is this a more serious problem? Can you diagnose. And no I have never had any brake problems before. In fact I have never had any problems before. The car has be driven fro NY to NM three times in one year. Not one problem. Plaese help. John from New Mexico
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 AT 8:36 AM

1 Reply

  • 33,783 POSTS
It sounds like a stuck valve in the power booster. Look up under the dash where the brake pedal push rod goes through the firewall. If that's where the hissing is coming from, the valve is stuck / broken or the diaphragm is ruptured.

If the hissing is heard better from under the hood, look for a 3/4" diameter hose that's plugged into a black or light yellow plastic check valve right behind the master cylinder. If something became disconnected, not only will you lose power assist, the engine should run very poorly with such a huge vacuum leak.

A competent do-it-yourselfer can replace a booster. Don't worry about getting one from a salvage yard because they are a very low failure item. What I would watch though is to always hold it in the installed position when you transport it. Some GM units have strange valves that fall out of position if the booster is turned sideways. They have a very high failure rate. I've never heard of that problem with Chrysler boosters, but why take a chance?

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Friday, May 29th, 2009 AT 4:17 AM

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