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Re: very mushy brakes on 1987 Jetta Carat. 4 disc brake...
The cause is the Brake Master Cylinder. Replace the Master Cylinder and you will need to Bleed the Brake System also. If you have not done this Before, I would recomend a Pro Install and Bleed the System for you.
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If brakes are mushy then you still have air in the lines.Did you bleed all 4 wheels?have wife push brake pedal down once and hold then bleed hold down one and bleed and so on if this has a quick takeup master cylinder pumping 3 or 4 times then bleed wont work
SOME SPRINTERS HAD RECALLS ON MASTER CYLINDERS YEARS 2006-2009 CHECK DEALER FOR MAYBE RECALL,IAM NOT SURE WHY YOUR BLEEDING THE BRAKES IF YOU HAD OPENED A LINE OR CHANGED A CALIPER THERE MABE AIR IN THE LINES-I ALWAYS USE A PRESSURE BLEEDER OR YOU CAN GRAVITY BLEED SYSTEM BY OPENING EACH BLEEDER SCREW UNTILL GOOD FLOW THEN CLOSEING-IF BLEEDING FOR MUSHY PEDAL CHECK BRAKES AND THICKNESS OF ROTORS-ARE THEIR ANY CODES -IS THE ABS LIGHT ON-IF ALL CHECKS OUT GO TO MASTERCYLINDER
Try connecting plastic tubing to drivers side bleeder valve. Place end of tube into a half full can of brake fluid. Press the brake repeatedly with the engine running so your power braking system is working. Watch the tubing until all bubbles have been pushed through the tubing. Repeat for the passenger side. The plastic tubing needs to be submerged in the fluid in the can to keep it from letting air back into the system through the bleeder valve.
usually an indicator of either a loss of pressure due to low fluid and/or air in the system (brake fluid leak) or extremely worn rear brakes (if drum brakes in rear). possible causes include master cylinder (internal fluid pressure leak), external fluid leaks (calipers, lines, wheel cylinders), rear drum brakes extremely worn down or severely out of adjustment. normally worn disc brakes may reduce pedal height SOME, but seldom "to floor". but the "mushy" quote combined with the "floor" quote suggests a hydrolic fluid pressure problem.
Remove the two allen socket head screws that go in from the other side,inside the caliper,and take a screw driver,a strong one,and wedge it between the inner brake pad,and the rotor,and pry it until there is a 1/4 air gap between the brake pad and the rotor,then use a pry bar,and finish prying the brake pad all the way back far as it will go,so the caliper piston is all the way back.Remove the brake master cylinder top before doing this.Now ,if you need to remove the caliper complety ,from the vehicle,then brake the brake line hose loose with a line wrench,and remove it from the caliper.
Are you talking about the whole brake system freezing up or just the pads and pistons?
If you are talking about the whole system then you might have got condensation built up in your break system and that made the brake fluid freeze. Also it is possible that something could of broke with the cold temperatures.
Otherwise you get water, ice and dirt in them and then the cold temperatures freeze them up.
Are your brake stiff or mushy?
If they are mushy you may need to bleed the breaks and check all the pads, discs and drums if you have them. You could of also sprung a leak in the system.
May be air in the brake lines.
Bleed the brakes. Most brake shops do a lousy job. If you have it done make sure they test drive the car before you pay. If the brakes are still mushy, take it back and make them do it right or get your money back (all of it).
Very difficult to do by yourself, you will need an assistant if you haven't done it before.
Yes, there are one-man bleeders, not for first-timers.
When I changed my sisters VW Jetta I used the follow:
Socket to fit the caliper bolts (can't remember size)
C-Clamp to push the piston back in
Bucket to set the caliper on while changing the pads
On the rear brakes I had to borrow the special tool to push in rear disc brakes from AutoZone, this tool spins the piston while pushing it back in. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for an honest rating and thanks for using FixYa!