Riding the brakes and not believing in maintenance

Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
  • 2018 BMW 318I
  • 2.3L
  • 3 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 23,000 MILES
Hello, my wife got her license five years ago but I noticed she always rides the brakes. I told her all the things that would happen, but she didn't listen and kept riding the brakes. Even on the highway at 60 to 70 miles an hour and the brake pedal is already touching the floor. She doesn't want me to repair it or to send the car to the mechanic because she thinks brakes can't have problems in any car. I don't know where she got that theory. But I need some help solving this problem thanks
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Thursday, December 30th, 2021 AT 11:21 PM

21 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I don't know how to help with the issue, but she needs to be aware that riding the brakes causes premature brake wear, it can cause the rotors to warp, reduce fuel economy, and it hard on the powertrain (engine and transmission).

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-pulls-right-or-left-when-driving-or-braking

Is there an issue with the brakes at this point? Please explain to her that once the brake pads wear out, the metal backing plate on the brake pad will rub against the metal brake rotor reducing the ability to stop and potentially causing other damage.

Let me know if you are having an issue with the brakes now and what is happening.

Take care and Happy New Year,

Joe
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Friday, December 31st, 2021 AT 12:29 AM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
Hi, happy new year. Yes, the brakes are already gone and there are lots of squealing sounds that can be heard. And car has very slow speed reduction. Whatever you just texted here I already told her all that. But she thinks riding the brakes is safe and helps her to brake quickly to prevent accidents.
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Friday, December 31st, 2021 AT 7:01 AM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
So, I don't know how to cope with that.
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Friday, December 31st, 2021 AT 10:38 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Andy,

This is one I'm not sure how to answer. If you are getting all kinds of noise, the vehicle shouldn't be driven. If I provide directions, would you like to do the work at home? Have her help and see what has happened and explain why it's dangerous.

It's just a thought.

I hope you have a great new year.

Joe
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Friday, December 31st, 2021 AT 9:39 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
Thanks. But I can repair it. The only thing I found weird and I have never seen this in any cars. It looks like the master cylinder has been separated with spacers. How do I fix that?
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Friday, December 31st, 2021 AT 9:49 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Is it possible for you to take a pic of it and upload it for me to see? The 318 isn't offered in the US, so I don't have the specifics. However, I've never seen a 3 series with spacers from the factory. I know people who have modified the brake systems have used spacers to adjust the pushrod clearance between the brake pedal and MC, but I'm not sure why your vehicle has them. If the brakes are working properly, you may want to leave it alone unless you feel it is causing a problem.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

Take care,

Joe
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Friday, December 31st, 2021 AT 10:11 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
Yes, here it is.
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Saturday, January 1st, 2022 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
That's the picture.
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Saturday, January 1st, 2022 AT 9:18 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
There is no spacer there. The nuts that hold the master cylinder onto the booster are missing. If the brakes work at all, I would be surprised. Don't drive it like that.

If you look at pic 1 below, I circled the nut that I'm referring to. I also placed an arrow in the pic that is pointing in the direction of the second one that needs to be installed and how tight they should be.

Here is a link that explains how to replace a master cylinder. I'm not saying yours is bad, but the link explains how to install/tighten one.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-a-brake-master-cylinder

Again, if this is how the vehicle is being driven, I am surprised it stops at all.

Let me know what I can do to help.

Joe

See pic below.

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Saturday, January 1st, 2022 AT 9:08 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
It is being driven yes. And that's what is creating the brake pedal to the floor and my wife thinks it's normal. Even though I told her it's not.
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Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 AT 12:28 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes, that is the cause. You need to get two nuts and secure the Master Cylinder to the booster. Otherwise, she is likely going to have an accident. I can't believe the brakes do anything.

Let me know if you need help.

Joe
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Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 AT 6:12 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
I did put it back to its place but the brake pedal still going to the floor due to worn out pads.
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Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 AT 11:37 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Worn pads won't cause the brake pedal to go to the floor. Take a look through this link:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/brake-pedal-goes-to-the-floor

Let me know if I can help.

Joe
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Monday, January 3rd, 2022 AT 4:51 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
Really? Even if brake pads are completely worn out where metals are touching the rotors it won't touch the floor?
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Monday, January 3rd, 2022 AT 8:32 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It won't unless you have one of the pistons leaking fluid at one of the calipers. The metal backing plate will stop the piston when it hits the rotor. For it to get to that point, the caliper will simply hold more fluid. When you hit the brake, it should not go to the floor.

Did you ever determine why or how the Master Cylinder ended up disconnected?

Joe
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Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
So, it works like normal firm brakes but doesn't stop the car. Like I said my wife drives with the brakes only and these stupid brakes pumping to stop the car could have made that. But for now, that is fixed. I want to know more about this worn-out brake pads pedal feeling. I thought because it uses more fluid that at some time the brake pedal will touch the floor.
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Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 AT 11:14 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

As the brake pads wear, more and more fluid fills the brake caliper. If it didn't, the caliper piston would require you to pump and pump to refill it, so it was able to push the brake pad into the rotor to stop the vehicle.

So, the brake pedal shouldn't touch the floor. Have you replaced the pads yet? I don't know if you need it, but here is a link that explains in general how to remove and replace the brake pads and rotors:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-front-brake-pads-and-rotors-fwd

Let me know if you have other questions.

Take care,

Joe

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 AT 3:45 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
Well, I think I am going to add the cheap pads. Because she won't change her way of driving and I changed them 6 months ago with the expensive one's. So I won't spend money every 6 or 7 months for good pads.
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Thursday, January 6th, 2022 AT 3:08 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That may be a good idea. I would suggest getting brakes from somewhere like AutoZone. They come with a lifetime warranty, so you won't have to pay again. It's just a thought. That's what I do on my own vehicles.

Take care,

Joe
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Thursday, January 6th, 2022 AT 3:51 PM
Tiny
ANDY TOWSEND
  • MEMBER
Yes, but I believe you don't have someone that will finish the brakes in 6 or 7 months.
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Thursday, January 6th, 2022 AT 10:52 PM

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