Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Brake system malfunction

asked by on

My car has gone around 160,000 miles. Lately, the braking system started malfunctioning. Brake pedal is kind of spongy when I press it. Ocassionally, even though I floor the brake pedal, it doesn't work. Also, I've noticed dragging and smoking of the left front caliper. So, the brakes sometimes fail completely while other times work very poorly. I've checked for leaks and there are none. The fluids look fine and are at proper levels. What might be causing this? What repairs should I do?

The master cylinder is likely worn out and should be replaced. The rubber cups simply allow the brake fluid to slip past, rather than compress, when the brake pedal is pressed. I would also replace all of your brake hoses - front and rear. They may look fine externally, but have internal weakness that are contributing to the behavior you describe. They are 22 years old after all! A YourMechanic professional can help with both of these repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: hi how long should my brake calipers last?? based on other mercs etc

Brake calipers, associated torque plates and sliding pins should all be thoroughly cleaned and rebuilt every time you have to change the brake pads. These parts are subject to corrosion, brake grit, dust and dirt, and extremely high heat. If...

Q: ABS light on

the ABS light is most likely on due to one or more of the wheel speed sensors going bad. Some front and rear model sensors will need the complete hub replaced. The system will need to be tested to see...

Q: Car cranks, but won't start - 1995 Jaguar XJS

Hey there. It's quite possible for some water or degreaser to be shorting a connection, but it should hopefully dry out eventually. Pull a spark plug and check for spark. If none, check the ignition module, then ignition connections for...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.