Question about 2000 Lincoln Continental

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Braking system wife complained brake pedal went to the floor. i checked brake lines and found no leaks. brake resevoir is still full. pedal travels about 4" towards floor. what i have described happens when the car is running. i pumped the brakes when the car was not running and the brake pedal traveled only 2 to 3 inches to stop, when i started the car again, the pedal traveled the 4" inches again. pads are at about half gone. i was told by one guy that the booster will need replacing but i seek other opinions. thanks in advance

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That guy may be right. To check booster function, press firmly on the brake pedal with the engine off, then start the car. If the pedal sinks and inch or two, then the booster is probably OK.
If it was mine, I'd take it outside of town to somewhere with little or no traffic and test the brakes pretty brutally on a straight road with a loose grip on the steering wheel to check for directional problems.
Something that might have happened is that one wheel had a stuck wheel cylinder that suddenly got unstuck, causing a drop in pressure momentarily. I have also had the entire brake material on one pad separate from the backing plate which caused the same thing - at an intersection, with a very busy highway that wasn't crowded for once. I shot right across the intersection, drove home carefully and checked my shorts.
If you can't find anything yourself, I wouldn't hesitate to take it to an honest service shop (in the US, check local BBB) since that is something that shouldn't be put off. 

Posted on Oct 31, 2008

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