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Brake problems...

378 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  WackyWabbitRacer
Whenever I press on the brake pedal, it goes a LOT further down then it used to at the point when it begins applying pressure to the brakes. Also, it seems only my left front disc is working, as my Jetta pulls to the left when I brake, and when I put a fair amount of pressure, the front left locks, and only the front left.
I have nowhere near the stopping power I used to. I checked the pads and they both have a decent amount left. What do you think the problem could be? Could it be my master cylinder for the right side? I am also unsure of the condition of the rear shoes, however I don;t think they have been working for some time now.
Any help would be much appreciated.
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Re: Brake problems... (biggychase)

well, the jettas were outfitted with a load proportioning valve mounted on the rear axle. This is designed to apply more brake pressure to the rear wheel when the car has been weighted down by either people or luggage. These valves tend to leak after time and need replaced. It sounds like it's possible that the valve may have leaked and is draining your brake fluid. See any leaks?
Check the fluid in the master cylinder.
If it's full, it's probably gonna be the master cylinder.... or even a crimped brake hose, but usually that leads to sticking brakes
Good luck
Re: Brake problems... (Big CADDY)

I didn't see any leaks anywhere, that's why I thought it was the cylinder. I'll check the levels like you said...
I heard the brake setup was cross on the a1's. The front left and back right were controlled by a cylinder and the front right and back left were controlled by another? You know anything about that?
Thanks for the help
Re: Brake problems... (biggychase)

The A1 Series of cars have diagonal dual-circuit braking system.
The front chamber (actually the rear ports) of the master cylinder operates the Right Front Brake and the Left Rear Brake.
The rear chamber (actually the front ports) operates the Left Front Brake and the Right Rear Brake.
I would jack the car up and put some jack stands under the car. Pull all four wheels and bleed the entire braking system at each wheel, starting with the Right Rear, then Left Rear, then Right Front, and finally the Left Front. After bleeding, have a friend get in the car and press the brake pedal. While he/she is pressing the brake pedal, you should check to see if each of the brakes is working, especially the front calipers are clamping or moving correctly.
If the car has a lot miles on it, I would definitely pull the rear drums and check the rear wheel cylinders for leaks. Since brake fluid absorbs water, the pistons and cylinders get rusty over a period of time. If you have not changed rear wheel cylinders in a long time, it is a good time to replace them.
If all calipers and wheel cylinders look good, then the seals in the master cylinder are probably bad. Replacing the master cylinder is not hard, just takes some time and patience. Be sure to use "brake line wrenches" when loosing brake line fittngs. These wrenches have an opening at their ends so they can slide over the brake line and onto the fitting. If you don't have a set, you can get them at Sears and other parts tools stores. In most cases, you will need 10mm, 11mm, and 12mm brake line wrenches. Good luck, WWR.
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