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Thread: Brake pedal slowly sinks into floor

  1. #1
    Regular Member Teapot's Avatar
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    Default Brake pedal slowly sinks into floor

    Took the vectra for an MOT test today after a period laid-up and noticed on the way that the brake pedal slowly sinks to the floor if kept depressed.

    The fluid level has also dropped during the journey, but the MOT tester found no signs of external leakage and said it is most likely the master cylinder faulty, and the fluid leaking into the servo.

    So here come the questions:
    1.Is master cylinder replacement a fairly straigtforward job (2004 CDTI 120)?
    2. Will the servo be damaged by the leaked fluid, and can the servo just be cleaned out and refitted?
    3. Is the cylinder a stealer-only part, or are pattern ones available significantly cheaper?
    4. Are there any other parts that I will need to complete the job (seals, gaskets etc)?

    many thanks,
    Paul.

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    Aside from you losing fluid somewhere, the fact that the pedal drops slowly to the floor (assuming the engine is running?) is completely normal for a diesel car. It's called "diesel creep":

    http://www.brakesint.co.uk/technical.html#techNote202

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    Regular Member chrisvectra's Avatar
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    Yeah I'd agree with that.. With the engine idling if I put foot on pedal firmly it does sink a bit but never goes to the floor thought this was normal on the veccy diesels as both of mine have done it

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    Regular Member Teapot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebellion View Post
    Aside from you losing fluid somewhere, the fact that the pedal drops slowly to the floor (assuming the engine is running?) is completely normal for a diesel car. It's called "diesel creep":

    http://www.brakesint.co.uk/technical.html#techNote202
    It also occurs during braking from high speed; If I brake gently, the pedal still slowly sinks and I eventually have to release and re-apply it to restore brake performance. This is definitly not normal according to the above article:
    "If you can get the brake pedal to creep with the engine switched off and servo exhausted, or actually under braking there is a serious problem that requires urgent attention!"

    My signum 1.9 CDTI doesn't have this problem, nor did this vectra before it was laid up so I'm 100% certain that there is a real fault.

    Plus it failed the MOT test for this...

    cheers,
    Paul

  5. #5
    Regular Member Teapot's Avatar
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    Not sure if this qualifies as 'good news' but it's less expensive than the master cylinder!

    The car eventually left a puddle of fluid underneath it. After some head scratching I realised that the leak was coming from a brake pipe that runs above the fuel tank and completely obscured from view. After getting dripped on all over including the face whilst removing the exhaust and fuel tank, it became apparent that this pipe had corroded severely in what is probably the most protected location of any brake pipe under the car. Why I do not know.

    But off it came and I duly went to the only place that was still open at 6pm - Halfrauds. Found brake pipe, found unions, but the swines don't sell a tool for swaging the ends of the pipe! So I'll take it tomorrow to my friendly local garage and get them to make me one up. Its not going to be easy because it has lots of tight bends on it to fit around all the other paraphernalia under the car!

    Job wise, I'd rather have been replacing the master cylinder, but with the stealers wanting £220+vat for the master cylinder, I'm glad it was this pipe!

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    its a common probblem mate alot of people swap them for braided hoses and you can do it yourself

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    Administrator plasma's Avatar
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    Dont think its THAT pipe Paul (u meaning the flexi one?), I do recall they come down the body of the car and over the top or side of the diesel/petrol tank where you cant get to them easily...

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    Paul pity you didn't know about it before Luton as we had the flaring kit there to modify a brake line, if I was closer I would do it with you, glad you found the issue, good luck in sorting it.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Teapot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma View Post
    Dont think its THAT pipe Paul (u meaning the flexi one?), I do recall they come down the body of the car and over the top or side of the diesel/petrol tank where you cant get to them easily...
    No its not a flexi pipe - its a rigid section that runs from the right-side over to the left rear wheel arch, above the tank.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Teapot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulhb View Post
    Paul pity you didn't know about it before Luton as we had the flaring kit there to modify a brake line, if I was closer I would do it with you, glad you found the issue, good luck in sorting it.
    Hehe no problem - friendly local garage that I use for MOTs and stuff made one up for me this morning for £10 - just need to put all the right bends in it and fit now.

    cheers,
    Paul.

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