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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On my G3 Taurus SE, the brake pedal has been mushy since the day I got this car (40,000 miles?). The pedal had to be pushed half way of its stoke to feel any useful braking action. The brake fluid looked pretty dark. Last week, I got a supermarket coupon for brake fluid flush discount at a chain place called Meineke Car Care and went to service my brakes there. They checked the car out and, after fighting real hard for about 10-15 minutes to take the rusty drums off, they found that the rear cylinders are leaking and the drums need to be cleaned and resurfaced. Lo and behold, 2 hours and $250 later, I got my car back with everything fixed. Now, the brake pedal action feels just as mushy is before, though the rear end stopped making grinding and other musical noises at stops. Are the brakes mushy by design or something needs to be adjusted?
 

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Drive another Taurus and see. Every make/model of car/truck will have different pedal feel. Every Taurus I drove (including this one) had a mushy brake pedal, even when mine had 25k on the miles. My old car, a Buick Park Ave, the pedal hardly had to be pressed before you ended up in the windshield.
 

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On my G3 Taurus SE, the brake pedal has been mushy since the day I got this car (40,000 miles?). The pedal had to be pushed half way of its stoke to feel any useful braking action. The brake fluid looked pretty dark. Last week, I got a supermarket coupon for brake fluid flush discount at a chain place called Meineke Car Care and went to service my brakes there. They checked the car out and, after fighting real hard for about 10-15 minutes to take the rusty drums off, they found that the rear cylinders are leaking and the rotors need to be cleaned and resurfaced. Lo and behold, 2 hours and $250 later, I got my car back with everything fixed. Now, the brake pedal action feels just as mushy is before, though the rear end stopped making grinding and other musical noises at stops. Are the brakes mushy by design or something needs to be adjusted?
Mushy? I would say so, I mean I drove other cars and I would hit the pedal lightly and I would be stopping way quicker than the taraus would. So it would be mushy but then again I am used to it, and also helps with the smoother stopping! ;)
 

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A good fluid flush and 4-wheel bleed will do wonders for a mushy pedal assuming you are not having front brake or master cylinder issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, the flush has been done, and brakes should have been bled as well. So, it must be something else..
 

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Well define Spongy for us? I mean if it is really spongy, as in you can defiantly tell spongy all you need to do is bleed the brakes. Though for Taurus brakes it is sorta spongy, I mean you would have to go out and test out other Taurus and feel the brake. Perhaps try describe what it feels like when you depress the brakes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The brake pedal is relatively soft the first couple of inches of the stroke. As I push it the first inch, I can feel that at least one set of brakes in being applied (in the same way one may "hear" a mosquito fly by). However, as I said, the first 1 to 2 inches do not provide useful braking action. I can't think of any situation when I'd press that pedal only 1 inch down, besides flashing the red brake light at the drivers behind. The car won't stop even when moving at 5mph. The pedal action feels harder somewhere half way the stroke, and you can feel the braking, though at that point it's still not hard braking. You'd have to push it a couple of inches more for a hard brake. Now, the folks at Meineke did test drive the car before giving it to me, so in their view, it's normal/acceptable braking.

Mind you, the braking performance is the same it always used to be on this car, before and after the last brake service (that is, the usual, lousy, below-average braking performance of the 1999 non-SHO G3 with stock parts). I assume the current pads are also crap. It's just the brake pedal that is very very soft. My retinas would detach if I pressed the brake pedal this far on parents' Ford Five Hundred (which does have a damn good brake setup for a cheap full sized family sedan: bigger than 12 inch rotors on ALL wheels with strong power assist)
 

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That's normal. Just slow down sooner. Also, your suspension may be worn too which will causes excessive nosedive so there's less grip on the rear wheels on braking and overworking the front brakes.

Newer cars are going to have instant braking. I have that issue with rentals.
 

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I think sometimes brake travel and brake feel can mean different things. If you have to press the pedal farther than you are used to but when it finally does offer resistance it doesn't move much after than then it doesn't sound like air in the lines. It could be a low fluid level or just the way they are. If it still travels most of the way to the floor after you feel resistance then you've got other problems, air in line/s, leaking master/wheel cylinders, bad flex lines that are ready to burst, etc.

Although I would never 'assume' anything a shop does, if they did the full flush front and back that 'probably' rules out air in lines and fluid level, though they might not have checked the flex lines for bulges. Also, if the pads are old try some premium pads. I wasn't happy with supposed 'premium' ceramic pads so went with Hawk pads (shosource has them) and it made a HUGE improvement in stopping power and fade plus I have yet to notice any increased brake dust on my wheels.
 

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The brake pedal is relatively soft the first couple of inches of the stroke. As I push it the first inch, I can feel that at least one set of brakes in being applied (in the same way one may "hear" a mosquito fly by). However, as I said, the first 1 to 2 inches do not provide useful braking action. I can't think of any situation when I'd press that pedal only 1 inch down, besides flashing the red brake light at the drivers behind. The car won't stop even when moving at 5mph. The pedal action feels harder somewhere half way the stroke, and you can feel the braking, though at that point it's still not hard braking. You'd have to push it a couple of inches more for a hard brake. Now, the folks at Meineke did test drive the car before giving it to me, so in their view, it's normal/acceptable braking.

Mind you, the braking performance is the same it always used to be on this car, before and after the last brake service (that is, the usual, lousy, below-average braking performance of the 1999 non-SHO G3 with stock parts). I assume the current pads are also crap. It's just the brake pedal that is very very soft. My retinas would detach if I pressed the brake pedal this far on parents' Ford Five Hundred (which does have a damn good brake setup for a cheap full sized family sedan: bigger than 12 inch rotors on ALL wheels with strong power assist)
My 2000 had the same problem. Every where I took the car diagnosed - no problem.

My 2 cents to you;

1. Try different brake pad set. Semi-metalic appear to work better on my car that any other. It did not solved the problem but make a noticeable difference. I guess you get what you pay for.

2. I ended up changing the master cylinder. I was told later that it is a common problem for the 99-2001 cars. (new design????)

3. I strongly recomment the rear disc conversion. It makes a BIG difference.


I hope it helps any.


Lucky.
 

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Well, the flush has been done, and brakes should have been bled as well. So, it must be something else..
I took the Town Car to the dealer for a 'flush' and they never even touched the car. They took my damn money in a big hurry though. Fluid was dirty just like when I dropped it off.

Get a bleed kit from Harbor Freight for $10 or $20 and do it yourself. Start at the front closest to the master cylinder and work your way back to the right rear last. You can buy a can of fluid and just put it upside down on the resevoir while you do the bleeding. That way you won't run the thing dry. Pump fast and remove fluid until the collector has clean fluid coming in and no bubbles.
 

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The brake pedal is relatively soft the first couple of inches of the stroke. As I push it the first inch, I can feel that at least one set of brakes in being applied (in the same way one may "hear" a mosquito fly by). However, as I said, the first 1 to 2 inches do not provide useful braking action. I can't think of any situation when I'd press that pedal only 1 inch down, besides flashing the red brake light at the drivers behind. The car won't stop even when moving at 5mph. The pedal action feels harder somewhere half way the stroke, and you can feel the braking, though at that point it's still not hard braking. You'd have to push it a couple of inches more for a hard brake. Now, the folks at Meineke did test drive the car before giving it to me, so in their view, it's normal/acceptable braking.

Mind you, the braking performance is the same it always used to be on this car, before and after the last brake service (that is, the usual, lousy, below-average braking performance of the 1999 non-SHO G3 with stock parts). I assume the current pads are also crap. It's just the brake pedal that is very very soft. My retinas would detach if I pressed the brake pedal this far on parents' Ford Five Hundred (which does have a damn good brake setup for a cheap full sized family sedan: bigger than 12 inch rotors on ALL wheels with strong power assist)
I'm having the EXACT same problem on my '00 SEL which I'm currently trying to solve :(
 

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^ TourDeForce, i think you have the bleeding/flushing sequence backasswards. Start farthest from master cylinder (rr). Rr-lr-rf-lf.
 

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^ Fwiw, Ford 500s were notorious for having brake problems, especially the rears (grinding, wearing out prematurely, etc.). Fronts werent exempt either.
 

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Well I've finally got it figured out. There was no communication between the scan tool and the ABS system the whole time I've owned the car (non functioning traction control nor abs) so I decided to change the ABS module and presto, got that working. Had the shop cycle the ABS pump like you mentioned and had it bled again. Still no dice. Turns out one of the slider pins on the right front caliper was completely seized causing a major issue. Guess what, no more spongy brakes and it stops 10X better now! Make sure the sliders are freed up!!
 
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