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complete brake failure, I'm a lucky boy

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by mwatsonxx, 6 Apr 2017.

  1. mwatsonxx

    mwatsonxx

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    Hi all,
    I have a mitsubishi carisma 1999 model. A few hours ago the brakes completely failed without warning. I thought this was supposed to be impossible due to dual braking systems.

    Why am I a lucky boy? I was driving behind a horse box, doing less than 20 mph and was able to stop the car using the handbrake. Any ideas what could have happened
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Catastrophic failure of the master cylinder or the pedal box operating it, I'm afraid....is there any fluid in it, and does the pedal feel disconnected?
    John :)
     
  4. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    Are you sure it was a complete failure? With a dual system if one fails you still have brakes but with increased pedal travel which can feel like failure.
    Is the master cylinder empty now? Any leaks at the wheels/hoses/pipes/between the master cylinder and servo?
    Can't recall if these have rear drums or discs.
     
  5. mwatsonxx

    mwatsonxx

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    Thanks for the replies, the brake fluid is normal, and the pedal goes straight to the floor and pumping it makes no difference. There is pressure in the pedal so it still connected to the system and it returns to the normal position. It has rear drums and front discs.
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2017
  6. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    A split system means that if one side of the split bursts and loses the fluid, the other side takes over. Its still possible for the master cylinder to fail in the way I've mentioned. Similarly, If a pad or brake shoe disappears (i.e the friction material breaks away) you'll have no brakes but pumping the pedal should give you some sort of feel eventually. Time to check out the pedal box arrangement first - I've seen the odd one where welding has simply broken away, and the master cylinder wasn't being pushed by the pedal.
    John :)
     
  7. Because it wasn't your time to go; no white light and a harp for you yet. Thank your lucky stars, or whichever god you pray to, and make the best of the time left to you. And get rid of that car.
     
  8. mwatsonxx

    mwatsonxx

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    That's making sense to me, thanks.
     
  9. mwatsonxx

    mwatsonxx

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    Thanks doggit, if my mechanic can't explain the problem (but he will because he is an ace) I will demand that I witness the crushing of the car. What I find most distressing is that I was about to part exchange this car for another. I could not live with myself if the new owner ended up in some catastrophic accident.
    I've had a very narrow escape. In another 30 seconds I would have been in a 50 mph zone, and then onto the M25 at 70+mph. This has really shaken me up.
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2017
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  11. Mikefromlondon

    Mikefromlondon

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    I know why, did you upset someone? or did you run off with someone's missus? or if you are happily married, did your wife insure you for 5 million on your life? dual circuit brakes don't suddenly fail unless someone sabotaged your brakes.

    Or chances are that one circuit had failed in the past and you did not get any warning and now the 2nd circuit has gone, question how long ago did your car had its MOT carried out?
     
  12. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Did you run over someones cat?

    Andy
     
  13. DaveHerns

    DaveHerns

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    If you have no leaks and a normal pedal now it does suggest a pad might have fallen out.
    Unlikely to be the rear drums if your handbrake worked.
    Still, I doubt you've lost much in terms of PX against your new car, the dealers will be pleased not to have to take it.
     
  14. mwatsonxx

    mwatsonxx

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    Apparently, the problem was caused by a corroded brake pipe and all the brake fluid has leaked out. I would have thought that should only affect half the of the dual system.
     
  15. Mikefromlondon

    Mikefromlondon

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    Something that should have been picked up by your MOT man. That is what the idea of having an MOT means.
     
  16. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    They seem contradictory.
     
  17. mwatsonxx

    mwatsonxx

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    To bernardgreen, Yes I made a mistake about the fluid level.
     
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