The brakes on my '03 Kia Spectra 1.8 liter will not stop the car till the car warms up. When it is cold outside the first couple of pumps of the brakes are very hard, not going down to the floor nor are they spongy. The resevoir is full of fluid. After a couple attempts of standing on the pedal to stop, it starts to work again without any problem.
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It could be the stoplights that stay on. There us a switch witch is released and activates when depressing the brake pedal. Maybe you brake pedal does not return to it's default position which disengages the switch. Spring might be loose or broken.
Check that there is brake fluid in the m/cyl resevoir. Check under the car at the back of each brake and look for wet spots as it appears that you have a leak some where. If the vehicle has done a lot of miles the problem may be in the m/cyl in that a rubber boot is damaged and by passing fluid instead of pressureing the system
The rear brakes on the Spectra will always engage less than the front brakes. If you have to push hard on the brake pedal then you probably have air in the brake lines from the last brake pad replacement. The brakes need to be bled with this method: Use 1/8 inch 2 foot long hose from parts store and attach from bleeder valve ball on the brake caliper to a bottle partially filled with brake fluid. End of hose should be submerged in bottle. With second person holding brake pedal to floor, slowly turn bleeder valve counter clockwise (loosen tiny bit) with wrench and watch for dirty brake fluid to create bubbles in the bottle. When bubbles start, quickly tighten bleeder valve back to tight. Second person lifts foot while valve is tight and then pushes pedal to floor again and THEN you again open bleeder valve slowly turning counter clockwise and watch for bubbles. Repeat until no more bubbles can be created in the bottle where the hose is submerged. Move to next caliper and repeat. For a firm brake pedal you will need to repeat this on all four calipers. My 2003 Kia's rear brake pads "fell apart" and never wore out in 190000 miles because they do not get used. The braking power is primarily in the front disk brakes on this model. Removing and replacing the rear drum brake linings did not even require me to bleed the brake lines. They weren't that tight before or after the replacement procedure.
Look above your brake pedal and you will see your brake switch up along your brake pedal arm. It will either be
between the brake arm and the firewall so when you brake it pushes the
switch in. Or it will be between the dash and the brake arm so when you
brake it pulls the switch out. Most likely this switch needs to be replaced
The blocking bracket might be jammed. Stop the engine, nudge the car a little and try again to move the lever without pressing the brake pedal.
If this works move the lever several times to loosen the bracket, leave it in neutral, press the brake pedal and start the engine. Leave it running at idle for a while , till the oil heats up - 5-10 minutes , depending how cold is outside. Then repeat the lever movement till the efort becomes neglijable. If it doesn't or jams again take the car to the repair shop, it needs tinkering.