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    Hi guys,
    Because I'm on motability I managed to get a Ford Focus Titanium for my first car; it's now about 9 months old. Recently, I have encountered an issue with the brakes. The problem itself is not too dissimilar to the fault this guy describes.

    Basically, most of the time they work perfectly; but twice in the last month the brake pedal has gone solid (I could only depress it a fraction of what you usually can) and the car just refuses to slow down. The first time it happened I managed to keep the car on the road by an inch or so; the second time I was pulling into a parking space and didn't react to it in time so I hit the concrete bollard. I have taken the car to the dealership and explained the issue but they can't find anything wrong with it, and haven't managed to recreate the fault. I've just received the call saying they're happy to return the car to me.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue, and what I can do? Because I don't want to be driving a timebomb for the next two and a bit years.

    Motorbiker, you know a few things; got any ideas?
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    SassKing13, you got any ideas?
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    Hi guys,
    Because I'm on motability I managed to get a Ford Focus Titanium for my first car; it's now about 9 months old. Recently, I have encountered an issue with the brakes. The problem itself is not too dissimilar to the fault this guy describes.

    Basically, most of the time they work perfectly; but twice in the last month the brake pedal has gone solid (I could only depress it a fraction of what you usually can) and the car just refuses to slow down. The first time it happened I managed to keep the car on the road by an inch or so; the second time I was pulling into a parking space and didn't react to it in time so I hit the concrete bollard. I have taken the car to the dealership and explained the issue but they can't find anything wrong with it, and haven't managed to recreate the fault. I've just received the call saying they're happy to return the car to me.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue, and what I can do? Because I don't want to be driving a timebomb for the next two and a bit years.

    Motorbiker, you know a few things; got any ideas?
    Bleed the brakes. That could be air in the line, or a failing power brake, but either way go to a mechanic.
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    (Original post by Crystalyne)
    Bleed the brakes. That could be air in the line, or a failing power brake, but either way go to a mechanic.
    Air in the system is more likely to make the pedal feel spongy, not hard to press.
    It sounds more like a servo issue.
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    (Original post by Crystalyne)
    Bleed the brakes. That could be air in the line, or a failing power brake, but either way go to a mechanic.
    Right, OK.

    Doing a quick google the fault seems to have been fairly common for cars with ABS near the start of the millennia but it's ridiculous that a brand new car with 10k miles on the clock is having the same fault.
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    (Original post by mphysical)
    Air in the system is more likely to make the pedal feel spongy, not hard to press.
    It sounds more like a servo issue.
    That makes more sense, but I would've thought that Ford would know how to fix it; considering I've found people reporting the issue as much as 15 years ago
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    Dunno why you took it to the dealership, you'd have been better off going straight to a mechanic.
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    (Original post by Drunk Punx)
    Dunno why you took it to the dealership, you'd have been better off going straight to a mechanic.
    With it being a motability car I thought you were supposed to.
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    (Original post by mphysical)
    Air in the system is more likely to make the pedal feel spongy, not hard to press.
    It sounds more like a servo issue.
    True, but sometimes power brake systems can lock up the pedal when the system detects over-pressure.

    (Original post by Andy98)
    Right, OK.

    Doing a quick google the fault seems to have been fairly common for cars with ABS near the start of the millennia but it's ridiculous that a brand new car with 10k miles on the clock is having the same fault.
    New cars can have a bunch of faults - for example, someone I know bought a new Chevy Malibu which had random things break on it until the problem was found with the ECU and had to get it replaced.
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    (Original post by Crystalyne)
    True, but sometimes power brake systems can lock up the pedal when the system detects over-pressure.



    New cars can have a bunch of faults - for example, someone I know bought a new Chevy Malibu which had random things break on it until the problem was found with the ECU and had to get it replaced.
    It's a Chevy, those things never work

    Either way, with the problem being the brakes I don't wanna be driving around in it. I'd rather have the issue fixed than dice with death
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    With it being a motability car I thought you were supposed to.
    Absolutely no idea, maybe I spoke out of turn
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    (Original post by Drunk Punx)
    Absolutely no idea, maybe I spoke out of turn
    Fair enough
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    SassKing13, you got any ideas?
    Hi Andy, sorry I don't I'm afraid... I don't know a lot about this sort of thing. I thought about brake fade, but that's loss of power in the brakes. Your problem seems to be that the brake is sort of jamming up? Not too sure...
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    (Original post by SassKing13)
    Hi Andy, sorry I don't I'm afraid... I don't know a lot about this sort of thing. I thought about brake fade, but that's loss of power in the brakes. Your problem seems to be that the brake is sort of jamming up? Not too sure...
    Ah fair enough

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    If the pedal goes hard try really standing on it. As has been mentioned it sounds like an issue with the brake servo. Is it a diesel? It could be to do with the way you apply the brakes - do you tend to apply them then back off repeatedly? The brake servo has a vacuum reservoir which depletes with application cycles of the brakes, and if you drain it faster than the reservoir refills you could potentially lose your braking assist. However, it is only an assist, and the brakes should still operate without, but will feel very different. Try pressing the brake pedal with the engine off after the car has been sitting idle for a while - is that what the brake pedal felt like?
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    I dunno what to suggest other than taking it to a different garage fora second opinion?
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    If the pedal goes hard try really standing on it. As has been mentioned it sounds like an issue with the brake servo. Is it a diesel?
    It was literally like standing on concrete, I put all my weight on it and it wouldn't budge past like an eighth of how far it should go

    Petrol

    It could be to do with the way you apply the brakes - do you tend to apply them then back off repeatedly?
    I usually try to avoid braking unless I'm stopping, but when I apply them it's always a case of I'll apply them fairly heavily initially then ease off until the appropriate moment to take the last dab to stop.

    The brake servo has a vacuum reservoir which depletes with application cycles of the brakes, and if you drain it faster than the reservoir refills you could potentially lose your braking assist. However, it is only an assist, and the brakes should still operate without, but will feel very different. Try pressing the brake pedal with the engine off after the car has been sitting idle for a while - is that what the brake pedal felt like?
    Good question, I'll try that in the morning

    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    I dunno what to suggest other than taking it to a different garage fora second opinion?
    Good shout

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    (Original post by Andy98)
    It was literally like standing on concrete, I put all my weight on it and it wouldn't budge past like an eighth of how far it should go

    Petrol



    I usually try to avoid braking unless I'm stopping, but when I apply them it's always a case of I'll apply them fairly heavily initially then ease off until the appropriate moment to take the last dab to stop.



    Good question, I'll try that in the morning



    Good shout

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    Thinking a little more clearly about it, next time you drive the car, after you stop the engine, pump the brake pedal a few times. You will probably hear a hiss the first few times you do it (2-3 times on my car, but it's not built to European spec) which is the sound of the vacuum being released. When that stops you'll find the brake pedal becomes harder to press, but you should still get most/all of the travel out of it. If that's the feeling you got previously, you have a brake servo issue. If it's not, I suspect it's a mechanical block somewhere.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Thinking a little more clearly about it, next time you drive the car, after you stop the engine, pump the brake pedal a few times. You will probably hear a hiss the first few times you do it (2-3 times on my car, but it's not built to European spec) which is the sound of the vacuum being released. When that stops you'll find the brake pedal becomes harder to press, but you should still get most/all of the travel out of it. If that's the feeling you got previously, you have a brake servo issue. If it's not, I suspect it's a mechanical block somewhere.
    Right OK, thank you

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