Question about 1997 Honda Civic

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Intermittently I need to press harder to get the brakes to work.

Intermittently I need to press the pedal further down than normal to get the brakes to work.When this happens, I let off completely and then press again and they work normally.

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  • cbland703 Jul 16, 2009

    Thanks for the suggestion! This problem usually happens at the end of a long commute. Not sure if that is helpful hint.

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  • Honda Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Sounds like your master cylinder is beginning to internally bypass. By releasing and re-applying the pedal you are essentially "pumping" the pedal, to regain pressure. A quick check is to apply moderate pressure to the pedal and hold it. If the pedal begins to sink, replace the master.
Also check everything for small leaks that slowly bleed system of fluid and permit air to enter. (especially wheel cylinders and backside of master cyl.)

Posted on Jul 16, 2009

  • Richard Scordino Jul 16, 2009

    Time spent driving should not have much to do with it, as time progresses, it will happen more and more often...Make sure you check the fluid level in the master cylinder so if there is a leak, you don't run out of fluid.

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yes but up to a point
the brake pedal should move about 1" to take up the pedal free play and then be applied smoothly as you press further
the harder you press the more solid stopping action you will get
that way you can feel the brakes working so that you can adjust the braking action for stopping
there should be no hissing noise that occurs when the brakes are being applied
you say hydro booster which is hydraulic booster but a hissing noise will come from an air leak in a vacuum brake booster which indicates that it needs repalcing

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If you replace the wheel cylinders or brake calipers and did not bleed them properly, you most likely have air in the lines, If the rear brakes are drum brakes they need to be adjusted (if taken apart or new parts put on) or the pedal may sink when pressed.
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2. a soft brake pedal can also be a bad master cylinder. Replace the master cylinder if the lines have been bleed correctly but the pedal is still soft or sinking when the pedal is pressed.

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if the brake lights are working then check that the brake lights are on when you try changing the gear you may need to press the brake pedal down a bit harder so the brake light switch works.

let me know if the brake lights are working then ill assist you further if the lights dont work then its the brake light switch that needs replacing.

let me know how you get on or if you need further assistance ok

plz rate this solution as i have a whole page of unrated posts, thanks

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The fact that you say it is an intermitant problem makes me think your new master cyl is no good. If it happened all the time , I would suggest bleeding the system , and adjusting (tightening) the rear brakes.
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