Intermittent brake failure

Watch
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
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?
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#2
SassKing13, you got any ideas?
0
reply
Crystalyne
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
(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.
0
reply
mphysical
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
(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.
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#5
(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.
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#6
(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
0
reply
Drunk Punx
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
Dunno why you took it to the dealership, you'd have been better off going straight to a mechanic.
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#8
(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.
0
reply
Crystalyne
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 years ago
#9
(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.
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#10
(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
0
reply
Drunk Punx
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 years ago
#11
(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
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#12
(Original post by Drunk Punx)
Absolutely no idea, maybe I spoke out of turn
Fair enough
0
reply
username1467365
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#13
Report 3 years ago
#13
(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...
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#14
(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

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
CurlyBen
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#15
Report 3 years ago
#15
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?
0
reply
Motorbiker
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#16
Report 3 years ago
#16
I dunno what to suggest other than taking it to a different garage fora second opinion?
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#17
(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

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
CurlyBen
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#18
Report 3 years ago
#18
(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

Posted from TSR Mobile
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.
0
reply
Andy98
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#19
(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

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Xeuzib
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#20
Report 1 year ago
#20
I have a focus 2013. I have that problem since i bought that car. Took it to the dealer several times and they never managed to fix it. In my case, I have a really stiff brake pedal in two occasions: - If I am accelerating and then very quickly hit the brakes - If I am in autopilot and hit the breaks (not every time though) My impression is that the problem is electronic because the brakes work just fine on all other occasions (or if I step out and then press it again when it is stiff). Maybe is it an anti flip-over mechanism in case you hit the breaks accidentally? Or ABS issues. Not sure. But not mechanical or vacuum. It is very annoying and I feel there will be a recall soon.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you worried that a cap in student numbers would affect your place at uni?

Yes (191)
59.69%
No (71)
22.19%
Not sure (58)
18.13%

Watched Threads

View All