Question about 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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Brakes go all the way to the floor and is hard to stop. How can we check to see if it is the master cylinder or the brake booster, or the other little valve thingy that is black but has no name on it.

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In addition to ax13's solution, you might open the brake fluid reservoir to see how much if any fluid remains.The reservoir is east to find, the location is on the firewall, usually an opaque white container, with one or two screw or similar retaining devices. Before taking the caps off clean around the cap & the caps prior to removal, Dirt and accumulated 'gunk' dirt etc will contaminate the fluid if it gets in it. If the fluid is low or not visible, ax13's leakage solution is most like the on; there is one other possibility- the brakes are excessively worn [you should hear a scrape or grinding noise when braking]. Instead of fluid being present, you'll see (and smell something pungent) dry or 'damp' black dust around one up to all four wheels. Over all your best bet would be to take the car to someone you know & trust to do a brake job on your car. A brake job is a lot cheaper than an accident.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

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Try to stop your car on gravel if the rear does not stop the rear either has a blown brake line or a bad wheel cylinder

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

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Look for liquid around the wheels or dripping on the ground, if a wheel cylinder or caliper isn't leaking you need a master cylinder. Get it fixed by a pro.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

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1 Answer

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First, check your brake fluid levels, if it is low then that enplanes your problem. Also, when was the last time you had the brakes changed? if the are worn down, then this will also cause a low fluid level. if the brakes are fine and the fluid level is good and you still have the same issue, then your problem is probably your master cylinder. Brake boosters hardly ever go bad.

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Not likely that the booster is an issue. The booster would not be able to overcome the brake fluid compression.
First open and inspect all brakes for leaks, adjustment, etc. Check all brake lines.
So if no leaks, did the fluid go low in the MC? If so, pad consumption would eat more than a MC reservoir of fluid, and not require MC replacement, but rebleeding and top up of fluid. If the pads are worn, and you replace them, often this will expel air back through the MC.

If you determine the MC is faulty, bench bleed the new one before install, or you will have lots of problems getting air out....

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When you step on the brake does the engine rpm change. This is a leaking check valve (one way air valve).

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Presuming you have NO leaks in the hydraulic system,it would be a bad brake master cylinder.What's happening is,the piston inside the master cylinder has rubber seals,and when the pedal goes to the floor,the master cylinder is leaking internally,past the rubber seals.If the brake booster was bad,the symptom would be an extrememly HARD,unresponsive,brake pedal,and the engine would idle terrible (vacuum leak).Good luck.

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