Question about Buick LaCrosse

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Something got mixed into my brake fluid and has tainted the system. Now apparently I have to basically replace the entire system because it has started to ruin the rubber gaskets, the master cylinder, calipers, and it looks like it has warped the rotors. I own a 2005 Buick Lacrosse and cannot afford the $2500 bill that was presented to me today. Do you know what I can look forward to getting myself into and any recommendations about getting after market products. Do you know if I will need special tools and about how long of a p.i.t.a. this is going to turn out to be? Thank you in advance.

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Depending on your skill level you may be able to replace the individual components - Master cylinder, calipers, flexible caliper brake lines and wheel cylinders if you have drum brakes in the back, You probably had somehow mixed incompatible brake fluids in the reservoir which would cause the problem you mentioned. That mix would also cause your calipers to drag which overheated and warped the rotors. The aforementioned components are the only ones that have rubber in them, requiring the change. However - you will also need to flush out the brake lines with the correct DOT class brake fluid after flushing those lines with brake cleaner which comes in pressurized cans, making that part of the job easier. Please understand - this is a time consuming and somewhat expensive ( depending on the component cost ) job that is involved with many steps to completion. You may want to go to your public library and check out a book on hydraulic brake systems - that will give you a good idea of what you're getting into.
Good luck!!

Posted on Nov 10, 2010


Rotors do not warp. Maybe on a NASCAR Cup Car, when they get red hot,not a passenger car.

Unless you have experience with replacing,servicing,bleeding ,and working on a braking system,the $2,500 is about right.

How did that happen? Jiffy Lube or something.?

Putting a kit in the calipers or replacing them,cleaning out the master and new kit,if they still sell them,and flushing the system, is not an issue. May take you three days,but I spend about a week every year, on my brakes.

The problem and the expense,is the ABS Controller. Big dollar item there.

All the parts you need are avail at any auto parts store. You want to use Wagner,Raybestos or a quality brand

Tools---Flair Nut Wrenches,10mm,13mm,5/16",3/8",1/2'' ETC for brake line fittings etc
Maybe torx drivers for some items, to remove.

You need me, or someone, as a neighbor,to get you thru this.

Posted on Nov 10, 2010


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1 Answer

How does brake fluid get tainted/

hole in the break line, stuff falling in when fluid reservoir cap is removed ext. if it is just tinted a dirty color most like just time to change it.

Oct 27, 2013 | Buick LaCrosse Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2000 volvo s40 rear brakes locked up

It is possible to use the wrong brake fluid but if that was the case I would expect no brakes at all as the rubber cups in the master cylinder would have swollen to the point of seizing in the cylinder or be turned to mush and you will have fluid leaking every where. I suspect the problem lies in the park brake mechanism in that it is over adjusting or is rusted and not releasing correctly. If you still believe that the wrong fluid has been added ( most brands of brake fluid will mix ok---vegetable base oils--- but not mineral oil) then completely flush out the entire system using metholated spirits then several pints of new brake fluid

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brake switch bad, system needs bled, rear brake circuit probably has air in fluid, fluid is no doubt contaminated, nobody addresses this maintainance problem, bleed entire brake system, replace all fluid w/ new. if fluid in the master cylinder is black, seals are bad, some brake systems have a pump as part of master cylinder, these pumps run off fuses , 25amp, etc., check what system you have. is your fluid level correct ? the switch I refer to is @ proportioning valve below master cylinder @ frame, see abs brakes use this valve to prevent skidding, rear brakes must come on first, before front brakes. if valve is not in balance a hard brake pedal occurs, as with low fluid levels. does your brake light come on ? @ dash. have a brake shop bleed your system, if there's a problem they'll find it for you, let them do it, don't wast your time.

Jan 13, 2013 | 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser

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No pressure in the brake line

When the master cylinder [just below the plastic reservoir where you added the fluid] goes empty, air gets in it. Since air can be compressed [unlike liquids] the system does not generate any pressure. You may have to bleed the entire brake system to get the air out. Before you go to all that trouble, there is a short cut you can try. Have someone watch the fluid reservoir [with cap removed] for air bubbles while you gently press the brake pedal about 1/2 way down and release it. This will allow the air trapped in the master cylinder to escape upwards. Repeat until no bubbles are seen in the reservoir and you have a firm pedal. This trick may require up to 50 pumps of the pedal. The truck must be on level ground or with the front of the truck slightly above the rear.
Did you find any brake fluid on the ground? Is so, you must fix that leak. If no fluid was found on the ground, then the leak is the rear seal of the master cylinder. The fluid gets sucked into the power brake booster [big, black metal can behind the master cylinder], then into the engine and out the exhaust. If this is the case, you need to replace the master cylinder to fix the leak. Follow the instructions which will come with the replacement master cylinder to "bench" bleed it prior to installation.

Nov 25, 2011 | 1999 Ford Expedition

1 Answer

I accidentally put power steering fluid in my master cylinder. What should i do?

take something like a turkey baster and remove the fluid from the master, then reverse bleed the entire system. Power steering fluid WILL ruin anything in the brakeing system with rubber type parts.

Jan 12, 2011 | Chrysler Town & Country Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

My fella has changed all my brakes now they are all spongey and dont no what the problem is nothing to do with bleeding them

Hi there,

In a properly functioning brake system, depression of the brake fluid forces fluid through the brake lines to the brakes, which then of course stop the vehicle. Brake fluid is special in that it does NOT compress, which is why pressing of the brake pedal should feel solid.

However, air on the other hand, DOES compress and if air is present in either the fluid or anywhere in the brake line, this will cause the brake pedal to feel spongy.

Brake fluid has a lifespan of approx. 2years - old fluid should be completely flushed from the brake lines, by forcing NEW fluid through the system. Never mix old fluid with new, as this will introduce contaminants and also air into the new fluid.

Note: there are around 3 types of brake fluid currently available - you MUST use only that which is approved by the vehicle's manufacturer.

On many cars, bleeding of brakes must be done in a specific sequence as per manufacturer's instructions, due to complicated fluid proportioning valves etc.

I recommend you have the quality of fluid + bleeding process rechecked.

If both check out ok, then you may have a more serious problem of a leak somewhere, allowing air to enter the brake system.


"If this has helped you in any way, please rate this solution" :-)

Jan 27, 2010 | 2000 Renault 181

1 Answer

Manual Transmission stick jammed after BRAKE Light ON for a day. 2002 Kia Sportage ONLY drives in 4th gear. Mechanic says Brake Fluid in Kia Sportage Lubes and Cools Manual Transmission? Might have gone...

Need more info on what the trans is doing , or not doing. No chance that brake fluid cools or lubes your transmission. The only possible connection is that your clutch is hydraulic which would use brake fluid , but two totaly different systems. Does your clutch feel funny?

Nov 04, 2009 | 2002 Kia Sportage

2 Answers

Loosing brake fluid. A lot of brake dust on front wheels. Changed pads before the brake light came on, which made me realize fluid was low. Now I practically have no brakes

Check your entire brake system for leaks including the master cylinder, there is a leak somewhere and needs repair. Flush out old brake fluid and bleed system properly to get ALL the air out of system. Replace the rotors when you do a front brake job also. Check rear brakes for condition and adjustment.

Aug 08, 2009 | Chevrolet Malibu Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

How do i bleed my brakes for my 1998 Ford Ranger? When i push the brake pedal it goes all the way to the floor.

First I would figure out why it needs to be bled, if it was leaking somewhere, or fluid low, new caliper, etc.

Brake bleeding is the procedure performed on hydraulic brake systems whereby the brake lines (the pipes and hoses containing the brake fluid) are purged of any air bubbles. This is necessary because, while the brake fluid is an incompressible liquid, air bubbles are compressible gas and their presence in the brake system greatly reduces the hydraulic pressure that can be developed within the system.

The process is performed by forcing clean, bubble-free brake fluid through the entire system from the master cylinder(s) to the calipers of disc brakes or the wheel cylinders of drum brakes). The brake bleeder is normally mounted at the highest point on each cylinder or caliper. Brake bleeding can be done easily by two persons working together and doesn't require much technical expertise besides a basic knowledge of brakes and car hydraulics. One wheel at a time, the brake bleeding valve for that wheel is opened while a drain hose is attached to that valve and immersed into a pool of brake fluid. The assistant then pumps the brake pedal. In this manner, fresh fluid is forced through the system into that wheel's caliper or wheel cylinder, and any old, dirty, water-saturated or bubble-entrained fluid is expelled from the system. When the fluid from the caliper or wheel cylinder runs clean, clear, and bubble-free, the brake bleeding valve is closed and the drain tube removed. The process is then repeated for the remaining wheels. During the entire process, the brake fluid reservoir must be kept full of fresh fluid lest new air bubbles be introduced into the brake system. (As found on Wikipedia)

It would be important to note that the person pumping the brake should press slowly and tell you when they are nearing the end of the pedal stroke to you can close the bleed valve before you **** air back into the system. REMEMBER to keep brake fluid in the reservoir at the master cylindermag-glass_10x10.gif.

Hope this helps. It's pretty easy and best done with 2 people, they hav vacuum bleeders which can be done with 1 person but the results are not consistant or perfect.

Jun 24, 2009 | 1998 Ford Ranger SuperCab

2 Answers

My brakes are spongy and i need to check brake fluid where is the brake fluid?

This is not just a matter of checking brake fluid level. Most likely you need to have the brake fluid renewed in the entire brake system, something you should do biannually or so to prevent trouble.

If done in a professional way it will cure your problem, this process includes venting the brake lines for gas bubbles that are trapped inside causing the spongy feeling.

While it is not very difficult to do yourself I would still recommend you to have a professional do it for you, not worth the risks of potential brake failure if done wrong. It is normally an inexpensive procedure.

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