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brake problems


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Don't kill me but I have a dodge 1500 318  180k and I am have brake issues. When you go to hit the brakes they are hard as hell and you have to stand on them to get stopped. Kinda looked it over today the rubber under the brake lid was very stretched out I couldn't get it back in so I will have to get a new lid plus the fluid  was Black.not sure what to start with but I not going to drive it until  I get it figured out. Any help would be greatly appreciated 

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  • Administrator

I would flush the entire system out. Black fluid means it might be contaminated with petroleum product of some sort and its attacking the rubber. So This means disassembling the calipers and the wheel cylinder if drums. Replace all the rubber parts. Might have to replace the master as well.

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Basically any rubber part that is in contact with the contaminated brake fluid should be inspected and repair if needed. I would rather inspect all the rubber and find out nothing is wrong. It would sure be a horrid experience being in an accident because you didn't take that last step of inspection. The black fluid has me very concerned.

Booster is pretty simple device either it works or it don't.

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I've only seen one boost failure and it was a pure and simple torn diaphragm in the boost and had a huge vacuum leak and wouldn't idle properly. Very roughly and easy to stall. 

Hard pedal tells me possibly there is a vacuum issue to the booster. Now with the color of the fluid I've seen it local where someone added a petroleum product to the brake fluid and made a mess out of a 2012 Ram brake system. Fluid was pitch black and most of all the rubber parts were degrading. The owner got lucky and flushed the system and inspected all the seal replaced what was bad. Petroleum products in brake fluid degrades the rubber but also makes it swell and bind up creating a hard pedal.

I've only seen one boost failure and it was a pure and simple torn diaphragm in the boost and had a huge vacuum leak and wouldn't idle properly. Very roughly and easy to stall. 

Hard pedal tells me possibly there is a vacuum issue to the booster. Now with the color of the fluid I've seen it local where someone added a petroleum product to the brake fluid and made a mess out of a 2012 Ram brake system. Fluid was pitch black and most of all the rubber parts were degrading. The owner got lucky and flushed the system and inspected all the seal replaced what was bad. Petroleum products in brake fluid degrades the rubber but also makes it swell and bind up creating a hard pedal.

Like on my truck as the fluid ages the fluid turn more of amber color but not black.

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Don't have any idle problems right now only when it starts getting below  freezing  but been that way for years I will start with the flush as for the rubber  parts does that mean taking everything apart or is the another way of checking them 

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Kind of hard to see what the rubber part condition inside the master cylinder. You have to disassemble it to see. Same with the caliper seals impossible to see the seal inside the calipers. You have to disassemble the calipers to see if there is any debris behind the pistons. Seal kits are like $3 per wheel.

disassembled-caliper.jpg

new-caliper-seal.jpg

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I've changed a few boosters over the years. When they fail they can cause a rough idle or you might hear a hissing noise with no rough idle, or you might not hear anything when you step on the peddle. It all depends on the size of the leak in the diaphragm.

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