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G Jiggy

Intermittent Brake Fail

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2000 CVT well-kept 121K miles. This problem has happened 3 times or so in the past (a year or more between incidents) where the brakes upon application go almost to the floor and slow the car very little. Otherwise, the brakes work great with good, hard pedal. It's quite a surprise when it happens. No heavy braking preceded the failure. This last time I was coming off the freeway onto a favorite twisty off ramp and hadn't used the brakes to slow but downshifted. As I rounded the last corner that merged onto the local highway I hit the brakes to slow for traffic and the pedal went almost to the floor. Kinda rode that out for about 50 feet and then hit them again and they were low and slowing the car but nothing compared to the amount of pressure I was exerting, which was considerable. The pedal came back after that and seems OK. Even tried a few hard stops after that from about 35 or 40 and they were hard and effective. No ABS brake light illuminated or CEL. When I got the car years ago (2009) with about 60K on it and a fresh brake job at that point (two new rotors and pads, I don't know if they did calipers). Figuring 60K from taking possession I could use a brake job so I have a fresh set of drilled rotors, pads, lines and caliper kits in the wings ready to go but I'd really like to find out what causing this problem before I delve into the new stuff.

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By your description it sounds like false ABS activation from a failed sensor ring (mainly the rear hub sensor ring cracks and causes sporadic ABS issues). If you have a scan tool it's easy to see what's going on. If not, I would suggest removing the rear 2 rotors and looking at the tone ring (it looks like a toothed gear around the back of the wheel hub). I can help with pics if you have any questions.

 

-Dominic

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Sensor ring. Hmm, that sounds entirely plausible. I'm familiar with the sensor rings and I should be able to see it the ring is bad in some way. But heck, who knows. I also have a buddy who has a shop with a much better scan tool than mine so I might enlist his help. I'll take a peek and get back to you if I have any questions. I really appreciate your advice by the way. Thanks.

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