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Brakes only work when I pump them. Bought a new booster and cylinder and still don't work unless I pump them.

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
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Hi Eddie:
Disc or drum? Drums sometimes need manual adjustment.
If it`s `squishy`there may be air in the lines. That would require bleeding them.
I had a `57 Chev that had a bad master cylinder seal. If you pushed it slowly, it would go to the floor. Stamp on it hard or pump it and it worked fine. Had to change the master cylinder.
Tell me a bit more about the brakes and the exact problem and I`m sure we`ll find a fix.

Posted on Apr 25, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Brakes are hard to depress causing stopping problem


1: inspect all brake linings first.
no pulling left or right braking?
the car has 100% full manual brakes. if the brake booster fails.
(its only and assist !!! for 50lb small folks)
so does it? it takes more pedal pressure but has 100% full braking.
this is no accident its by design.
make sure none of the brake shoes/pads are soaked in DoT3/4 fluid
or grease or gear oil.
and no brake fluid leaks end to end, this is really #1 on all cars.
look, then look again. even behind and in front of the master cylinder.
look at tires (inside for fluid leaks>)
2: do the booster test. did the vacuum hose to it fall off?
or got pinched, or ?

google brake booster test
if ABS system. get it all checked,
if ABS get the ABS scanned.

if you cant stop correctly,,,,???? , dont drive.
get it fixed.

May 06, 2014 | 1999 Jeep Wrangler

1 Answer

2001 Silverado 2500 HD Why Rear brakes don't work after I installed new hydro-boost power booster, master cylinder, calipers, and pads. I bled master cylinder before installing, and brakes beginn


Hello Patricia,

Have you checked the master brake cylinder reservoir for brake fluid loss?

I don't suspect the master cylinder as you have replaced it... but am more suspect of a leaking brake line or fitting which should have
been discovered when you had the system bled.

The only time I ever had a rear brake problem with a 2500 series Chevrolet was due to seized rear brake caliper guide pins...as your calipers are also new that is not your problem.

If your brake pedal feels spongy and travels to the floor board you have air in the system, a brake fluid leak or a failure in the power steering system, such as a broken hose, broken power steering pump drive belt, or failed pump, would result in a loss of pressure to both the hydro-boost and steering.

Find more information here:

. Hydro Boost Power Assist Systems Operation Diagnosis and Repair

Jul 23, 2017 | 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

1 Answer

Brake pressure issue


Wow, that's different. There are only a few things left to try. To keep from buying unneeded parts first try bleeding this way one more time.

Do the longest brakeline first, then next longest, until you work your way to the shortest line. Then try it.

Now for a difference when starting the engine, your Brake booster is working. You should have a Reserve of Vacuum in the booster for at least one pedal depression. If you don't, the Booster valve or Booster Bladder is bad.

The Booster valve is relatively cheap. Test the booster bladder; you do not want to use a chemical. With the engine running, some people will use a torch propane tank with a rubber hose on it to direct propane around the Brake booster. The propane will cause the engine RPM to change indicating a bad bladder. Propane is safe in small amounts and was used to set air/mix in the early days of Pollution control.

The Master cylinder could have pulled in sediment when the old parts were removed from the system. Now it is hanging up.

For bleeding brakes there are different methods. I prefer to draw fluid with a hand Vacuum pump like a Mighty Vac. The advantages are it is less messy and far more controllable. Pumping a defective Master cylinder may not work for you. Power bleeding with a Canister and Master cylinder cap adapter will be better than relying on the Master cylinder alone. Gravity bleeding works, but may not work with a bad Master cylinder leaking more fluid in one chamber than the other.

Check for hose twists in the rubber lines you replaced. The ridges on the hoses should be parallel when you hang the caliper.

Please rate my info and let me know the final solution.

Jan 25, 2013 | 1996 Dodge Stratus

1 Answer

Brakes go to the floor after I start my truck.


Check for either a bad master cylinder or a blown vacuum assist canister.

Aug 08, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

The brakes on my 1998 intrepid are new. the brake hose are new, the caliper is new, everything is new except for the master cylinder. i cant figure out why my front brakes are still sticking. when i drive...


When you installed new calipers, did you bleed the lines out? Air trapped in the system can cause sticking. Unless they were sticking before you replaced all the parts. Try unplugging the ABS controller under the hood. If that does not work and there is no air in the lines then it would be 1 of 2 things.

1. Master cylinder failing to return.
2. Brake booster not providing enough vacuum.

Start the car. let it run for 10 seconds. while its running pump the brakes. let the brakes go and shut off the car. now press the peddle til it gets stiff. Now hold it down firmly. If the peddle pressure fades, replace the booster.

Nov 24, 2011 | 1998 Dodge Intrepid

1 Answer

20000 GMC Jimmy brake light came on, someone told us it's the booster. Is this the same as the master cylinder or something different. Also where is it located?


don`t just change parts because someone told you to without checking it out first.with the brake light on check the fluid level in the master cylinder if its down check the float in the cylinder as these will get stuck.also check for fluid leaks in the entire brake system and condition of the brakes themselves as when they wear especially the disc brakes the fluid will go down as the brake fluid takes up the worn brake material so the calipers don`t have to move as far to apply the brakes.the master cylinder is the component that holds the brake fluid under the hood that you would top up if low.the brakes booster is what the master is bolted to and gives the car power brakes as opposed to manual brakes.

Nov 02, 2011 | 2000 GMC Jimmy

1 Answer

Brake pedal has alot of back pressure and car moves in gear.Have to press real hard to stop.How to check abs pump if has one where or brake booster or master cylinder?Don't know how to trouble shoot or...


The air seeping is a dead giveaway. Your power brakes are now manual brakes, but stiffer. The diaphram in the brake booster has torn and the hissing noise is the engine vacuum escaping (you hear it louder when you depress the pedal right?). Replace the booster and you will be fine. The brake lights probably don't work because you can't push the pedal down far enought to release the switch. Please rate. Thanks.

Sep 03, 2011 | 1995 Mercury Cougar

3 Answers

Have a 1993 dodge Caravan SE. Purchased it from a man which converted it from ABS to hydraulics. I didn't know it had brake problems till i got it running. He put on a 3 outlet 2 inlet proportional...


if something goes wrong with abs the brake system it reverts back to standard system!! If you can pump brake pedal up and hold it and start engine and it drops thats normal.You say low pedal if you go 15mph on road and check where pedal is when brakes apply.Power brakes will push aLMost to floor while stopped but while moveing you`ll almost go to slide or will go into slide if pedal is pushed to floor.Get on some gravel at 10 mph and hit brakes to a complete stop get out and check to see if all 4 tires slid or 2 front or only 2 rear. this will get you closer to problem good luck.

Jul 12, 2011 | 1993 Dodge Caravan

1 Answer

Brakes


Sounds as if you need a master cylinder.

Sep 16, 2008 | 2000 Saturn Ls 4dr Sedan

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