2002 Ford Explorer Brake fluid contamination

Tiny
YNOT377
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,075 MILES
I just took my Explorer to the dealer because of a brake failure problem after I had replaced the pads, front and back. They are telling me that the fluid had been contaminated and they have to replace the master cylinder, the hydraulic control unit, some of the lines and the calipers. My question is, do all these components really need to be replaced? The calipers seemed to be in good condition when I replaced the pads.
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Monday, January 28th, 2008 AT 11:12 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Hard to say without physically looking at them. What was the contaminent that got into the brake system that did so much damage? Brakes were ok before, just needed to be replaced?
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 AT 12:21 PM
Tiny
YNOT377
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Yes, the brakes were fine before. The pads just needed replacement. Nothing that I know of could have contaminated the fluid. I hardly ever put fluid into the master cylinder as it never used or leaked it.
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 AT 6:03 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Did you open the bleeders on the calipers when compressing the piston to replace the pads or did you force the fluid up to the master cylinder? Might have damaged something if you did the latter and were too harsh about it
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 AT 6:07 PM
Tiny
YNOT377
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Ok, now we may be getting somewhere.I did not open the bleeder valves, I just used a C clamp to compress the calipers. What would be the first thing I check and how do I know if the hydraulic control unit is bad? Do I check it with a scanner? Thanks for the input.
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Thursday, January 31st, 2008 AT 12:27 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Lets start with the "brake failure" did the pedal drop or what? I take it the ABS light was on? Brake light? What codes did the PCM store?
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Thursday, January 31st, 2008 AT 7:34 AM
Tiny
YNOT377
  • MEMBER
Hey, I'm back. Sorry about the delay, I didn't bail on your answers, I was just sick with the flu. Anyway, let me tell you what exactly I have done from the beginning so we can keep this a little more condensed. After reading online all the things that pertain to my problem, I have a feeling I may have done something I shouldn't have in the process of my repair attempt. Now mind you, I am no idiot. In fact when it comes to this type of stuff, I can usually repair it myself but take note everyone. Times are changing and car repair is too. I am finding out that the things we may have done in the repair process in the past, may have been alright then but may be a costly mistake to do on the autos that are manufactured these days. Enough. OK, now to continue with my problem.

Thanks for your help 2carpro Jack. Anyway, here goes:
Let me first start by saying, and I'm not sure whether this had anything to do with my problem or not but it might. Ever since I bought the vehicle, the brake pedal had always pulsated when I applied the brakes. It wasn't really that bad at first, but slowly over about a year and a half, it got worse. The brake pedal was beginning to get pretty close to the floor so I checked the pads and decided to change them, while in the process, I could get the rotors turned as well. Never had a problem with anything up to this point. Well, I went ahead and bled the rear two calipers, so I could get a little more braking power, but it didn't help much. Ok, so I started with the front pads. Easy enough, my brother in law told me to open up the bleeder valve on the caliper when I compress the plunger, so from what I can recall, I did. First the driver side pads. Ok did those. Now this is maybe what my mistake was. After I did the left front. I didn't exactly get to the other side, immediately. After the drivers side pads were installed, I drove the vehicle, and didn't do the other side till the next afternoon. Ok so I did the other side. Ok finished the front pads. Seems to brake a little better but not nearly as much brake as I should have. (No, I didn't get the rotors turned at this time, I figured I will do them in a few days.) With that done, I didn't have time to do the rears until a few weeks later. I finally got to the rear brakes and did those, but this time, I don't think I opened the bleeders. After these are done, I noticed that my braking power hasn't changed hardly at all. The next night, I had a buddy help me bleed all the way around, and the master cylinder. No change. At this point, my pedal is going all the way to the floor. Finally, it got to the point where I had no brake at all. So here I sit. I hope that's enough information. And no, I am not losing any fluid by way of leakage or anything else. The M C is still full.
Thanks for all the input. Dealer says contanimated brake fluid. $3000.00 to rebuild the brake system! That just tells me, they don't know what's wrong with it either. I attached the OBD code reader and it didn't come up with any error codes except a ph1401 or something having to do with emissions.

Sorry about the lengthy post. :|
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Friday, February 15th, 2008 AT 12:22 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Has it lit the ABS light or the brake light? Ou might have damaged a seal when compressing the calipers. Have you replaced anything else since? Is this truck 4wheel ABS or rear ABS?
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Friday, February 15th, 2008 AT 7:07 AM

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