Question about 1992 Ford F250

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Losing brake fluid & have no brakes unless I pump them

96 ford windstar van I have been told to replace the master cylinder. But I am not sold. Now I have brakes not even half the time.you can pump them and have them & sometimes they will work just fine for A little bit. I am having to add brake fluid but have not noticed any bad leaks. To me it sounds like wherever the brake fluid is going out air is coming in and keeping the lines from being bled. It could be a wheel cylinder, master cylinder, cap or gasket on the master cylinder or a tiny hole in the brake line.I just dont have the time and money to buy new parts & it not be fixed.So mechanics saying replace the master cylinder without even seeing it or hereing any more than brakes go to the floor does not sell me .Please help!!

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Quick tests to do to see if your master cyl is nackerd.

pull the valve on the brake buster out ( the 1 with rubber hose attached, and be gentle so as not to brake it)
check for moisture/ brake fluid on the valve. if there is mosture you will need a new master cyl.

you can also undo the master cyl from the booster and gently slide it forward and see if there is any fluid behind it and on the back off it if there is fluid you will need a new master cyl

good luck these checks are very easy and you should be ok to perform them

Posted on Jan 02, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Brake lines probably broke. brakes stopped working suddenly.


There are many things other than brake lines that can cause braking loss. Investigation will reveal the issue. First, check fluid level in the Master Cylinder. If the level is normal, you don't have any broken lines/leaks. If the fluid is full and you have no brake pedal/braking power, chances are the Master Cylinder itself has failed. There are o-rings internal to the M/C that can fail, and when this happens, you will lose pressure to wheel cylinders/calipers and, as a result, lose your brakes.

If the fluid has leaked out, then you need to find out fro where. This is not too difficult normally. Fill the M/C with fluid and have someone press the brake pedal while observing the underside of the vehicle. You should see fluid dripping from somewhere, often near one of the wheels. You can have a leaking caliper/wheel cylinder, brake hose, or metal brake line. Once you determine what part has failed, you can purchase and replace the defective part. Brake calipers, wheel cylinders, and hoses are fairly simple to replace. Brake lines are more difficult, as they require shaping, cutting, and the creation of couplings. After repairs are done, the brake system must be refilled and all air bled from the system or braking will not be satisfactory.

Feb 16, 2016 | 1999 Buick Regal

3 Answers

2001 ford windstar lx master cylinder new i replaced but abs n brake light come on


Needs to have code reset for abs by a obd2 code reader with abs or find a parts house or shop that will reset it. Brake light coming on did you bleed the master cylinder out by connecting rubber lines to ths plastic insert ******* then acuating the master cylinder til all air is pumped out of master cylinder if that was not done then you will need to bleed all brakes until air is out of system that should turn brake light off

Apr 09, 2017 | 2001 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Ford van brakes go "soft"


The master cylinder probably needs new seals and the brakes need bleeding. First try replacing the brake fluid and doing a good bleed. If that does not solve the problem, go for the master cylinder.

Mar 20, 2011 | 1993 Ford Econoline

2 Answers

Brake light staying on. on my 2001 ford windstar what might it be


check your master cylinderr fluid level. If full brakes may be worn badly or master cyoinder may be going bad.. if brakes are ok change brake sending unit usually located on master cylinder. do noty drive until you are positive your brakes are good. if fluid level is low in master look for brake fluid under car usually on back of wheel.if no brake fluid on back of wheel inspect brake lines for a hole usually rusted through. if this is helpful please leave me positive feedback.

Dec 27, 2010 | 2001 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

My Ford windstar 2001 cruise control just stop working. it has 107,000 miles. Also, when driving the van sputters, it seem like the brake is being applied but continues to move.


is there brake fluid leaking on the wires under the master brake cylinder? if so you need to call ford about the recall. Its also suspected that this problem causes a malfunction in the abs system.
you can look up your recall info here http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/

Apr 12, 2010 | 2001 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Experienceing loss of power to brakes


1. What is the Brake Fluid Level?
2. Are you losing any Brake fluid at all? Are there any puddles or noticeable wetness on the ground or on the tires/wheels? With vehicle parked, the reservoir filled (overfilled), and engine running: pump the brakes and check on the ground and back sides (inside portions) of the wheels. Look for any brake fluid leaks.
3. Leaks from Calipers usually means a leak from the caliper piston. The rubber seals will be wet.
Leaks from Drums usually means a leak from the wheel cylinder.
4. In any case of leaks from the wheels - replace the calliper OR wheel cylinder.
For caliper leaks: change the brake pads, and clean the rotors with brake cleaner.
For drum leaks: clean the drum and brake hardware with brake cleaner, and replace the shoes.
5. If no leak is detected from the wheel area's: check under the Master Cylinder for wetness indicating a possible leak.
6. If no leak can be found: you MAY have a rear seal leak in the Master Cylinder which is pumping Brake Fluid into the Brake Booster (that large disk looking thing attached to the fire wall, attached to the Master Cylinder in front).
a. Use a large drip/catch pan under the Van in the area on the Master Cylinder.
b. Disconnect the brake lines from the Master Cylinder using a flair wrench.
c. Remove the two nuts (12 or 13mm?) attaching the Master Cylinder to the Brake Booster. If you have been using a lot of fluid, and have found no leaks, here is a good possibilty that all that brake fluid has collected in the Booster; so when you detach the Master Cylinder from the Brake Booster, all that fluid will come rushing out!
7. If there is Brake Fluid inside the Brake Booster: there is no cleaning that out. Brake Fluid is very caustic to the seals inside the Booster and should be replaced.
8. Of course the Master Cylinder will also have to be replaced.
9. After replacing the Master Cylinder/Brake Booster - make sure you get all that spilled brake fluid off the engine compartment area parts! I use a brake cleaner, then mild soap and then water to rinse. Clean any Brake Fluid off Paint imediatley as it will quickly dissolves finishes and paint.
10. If no leak is detected and the Booster is clear, there may be problems with the Booster One-Way Valve. This is attached to the outside of the Booster and has a hose from an "advance" connected to it. This maybe malfunctioning where you are losing power. Replace this first before deciding to replace the whole booster (in cases of NON-LEAKS ONLY). If that did not work, there may be inner seals inside the Booster that have failed. That means a new Booster.
11. In any of the above cases: Make sure you bleed the Master Cylinder correctly and bleed the brakes (at each affected wheel) correctly. Any air in the brake lines will decrease your braking proficiency or could result in brake failure.

Let me know if this helped or if you have any additional information or questions. Feel free to contact me at FixYa.com!

Dec 10, 2009 | 1999 Dodge Caravan

1 Answer

My 1998 ford windstar abs brake light is on. In the past I had to add brake fluid and in doing so the light went out. I tried that but it continues to burn. Can it be reset?


thats odd. Adding brake fluid shouldn't have kicked on the ABS light..

Low brake fluid would cause your RED parking brake light to come on not the orange ABS light (unless thats what you mean. if thats the case its normal for that light to come on with low fluid. in this case check the brake lines starting to the master cylinder and the components at the wheels to make sure there is no leaks if you go HERE complained about your situation and also noticed a leak on the bottom of the master cylinder (hazardous in more than 1 way) )

not sure of the component locations under the hood of the windstar but check to see if you were bumping wires on the ABS control module when you were putting brake fluid in. may be a loose connection that jiggles loose when you drive.

otherwise it might need a new ABS control module or maybe moisture in one of the components.

Oct 19, 2009 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

My air, odometer, speedometer all went out at the same time. is that a fuse?


I just had this trouble. Fuse F-10 will be blown. It is caused by a short in the ABS deactivation switch which is on the front and bottom of the master brake cylinder under the hood. The master brake cylinder is on the drivers side under the hood and is the unit where you add brake fluid. It has a connector with 2 wires on it and when it leaks brake fluid, the 2 wires short out and blow the F10 fuse causing your problem. So check that switch on the bottom front of the master brake cylinder and replace it if you have been losing brake fluid. It fixed my problem.

Sep 01, 2009 | 2000 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Brakes fail.


You have a major brake fluid leak. The master cylinder, brake calipers, hose, steel lines or rear wheels cylinders are leaking. Not safe to drive until you repair it.

Mar 02, 2009 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Bleeding brakes


No need to run the engine. Start the bleed procedure from the caliper farthest from the master cylinder, and work toward it. This means bleed the passenger rear first, then the driver rear, then passenger front, then driver front. Don't stop bleeding any caliper until you get three or so consecutive streams of air-free fluid through the bleeder. Monitor the level of fluid in the cylinder, and be sure the cap is on while bleeding - only open it to add additional fluid as needed.

Sep 09, 2008 | 1996 Ford Windstar

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