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Old 07-23-2010, 05:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Brakes went soft out of the blue

'99 Taurus SE, Vulcan. 110K. Got in it this afternoon and my brakes have gone very soft. Pedal to the floor almost. Pumping them doesn't help.

Checked the fluid and it was just under max so I had some and added. When I got home the reservoir is almost empty. Added more.

Do I have a leak, ya think? It's been so damn hot around here, crawling underneath it with a heat index of 110 is not very inviting. Maybe first thing tomorrow. Thoughts on where to start looking? Thanks a bunch.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You have a leak somewhere. You should be able to spot it by having someone pump the brakes while you look around underneath.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check out the brake lines under the driver's door. There is a clip there that holds them in place. Unfortunately it also attracts dirt/crud/salt/moisture and the lines can rust there. Mine blew out 2 years ago on the way home from work.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check all the lines and calipers for leaks. No leaks: I would bleed out the brake system with fresh fluid, and see if that fixes the problem. You could have moisture in the brake system. If that dosen't fix it, you could have a bad master cylinder.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrew View Post
Check out the brake lines under the driver's door. There is a clip there that holds them in place. Unfortunately it also attracts dirt/crud/salt/moisture and the lines can rust there. .
That is where mine leaked also, last year on my 96 Sable. Living in a rust belt state my 2 lines rusted out.

When my pedal went to the floor, I drove to a flat empty parking lot that was clean of debris and pumped the brakes as the car was stopped and then put the car in reverse to see where it was leaking.

My brake lines were corrosion protected from the master cylinder to the floor pan where the drivers feet would be. The two lines that run along the floor pan from the driver feet and drivers side passenger all along the floor pan were not corrosion protected. At the C pillar up to the rear disk the brake lines were corrosion protected. Does not make sense the way the corrosion protection was applied to the brake lines!

I just got my new for me sable rustproofed so I would avoid this situation. But if a vehicle was not rust proofed and the brake lines were in decent shape I would coated the lines with wheel bearing grease to prevent corrosion.


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Old 07-23-2010, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sure it must be a leak, thus the missing fluid after 5 minutes of driving.

I searched and found some guys disagreeing about double flairs, bubble flairs, etc. When I do find the leak, will I have to replace the culprit from fitting to fitting? Where do I find such things and can I bend and flair my own tubing? Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrew View Post
Check out the brake lines under the driver's door. There is a clip there that holds them in place. Unfortunately it also attracts dirt/crud/salt/moisture and the lines can rust there. Mine blew out 2 years ago on the way home from work.
sandrew, I think you're on it. Crawled underneath and see the fluid trails from that spot. My clip is more like a 4" rail turned upside down and unfortunately it looks like the support bolts for the emergency brake line screw in there.

Tell me more about how you fixed yours. Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You need new lines. You can get them from Ford for ~$200. Best to get all three rear lines. Where do you live as I have two sets. If your close we can deal.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You need new lines. You can get them from Ford for ~$200. Best to get all three rear lines. Where do you live as I have two sets. If your close we can deal.

/agree

I had mine replaced. Local dealers didn't have 'em in stock and I really couldn't afford to be without the car very long. Local brake shop quoted a price close to the Ford lines + install to custom bend some so that's the route I took.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No they don't stock them. I called on a Friday and they were at the dealers by Monday. No charge for shipping.
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