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Pontiac brakes repair questions and answers

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  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix - Brakes - 3/16/2014
    How to find a brake fluid leak? Is there something a mechanic can do to make it easier to find it.
    I have had to add about 4 ounces of brake fluid 3 weeks after filling resorvoir to maximum. I looked around reservoir and placed newspaper by wheels and could not find. Any suggestions on how to find or where else to look for the leak?
    • Affordable Auto Service
      Check for fluid under master cylinder where it meets vacuum booster, also check under dash where brake pedal comes through firewall. If you have drum brakes remove wheels and brake drums and check for leakage at wheel cylinders. finally a visual check under vehicle along all brake lines.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix - Brakes - 3/15/2014
    How to find a brake fluid leak. Do mechanics how something to help find it
    I've looked for leak around resorvoir, and master cylinder and place newspapers at backside of tires; and cannot find leak (i've added about 4 ounces 3 weeks after topping off resorvoir. Any advice on how to find it and where else to look. Does a mechanic have a ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      3/15/2014 HouseCallAuto
      If there are no external leaks at the lines then you have to remove all tires and look at calipers and / or drum brake cylinders and also consider the rear of the master leaking into the brake booster.
      3/15/2014 HouseCallAuto
      By the way, an experienced mechanic would figure it out.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1980 Pontiac Firebird - Brakes - 3/13/2014
    Front driverside brake caliper locked up.--should I replace.
    I can free it up untill the next I apply the brakes.Will not let up by it self.
    • HouseCallAuto
      3/13/2014 HouseCallAuto
      It could be a bad brake hose on that side also. In this situation if you just want to know that this problem will be fixed same day no back and forth, just buy a brake hose and caliper for that side and if that solves it you should then do the same to the other side to keep things in balance.
  • jim
    jim - 1999 Pontiac Grand Am - Brakes - 2/22/2014
    How do i tell if its the master cylinder or the power booster thats bad on my 97gmc 1/2ton pickup
    My brake pedal suddenly went down 3/4 of the way to the floor but it stops
    • Jimm
      2/22/2014 Jimm
      Easy diagnosis. To determine the power vacuum booster condition / integrity - pull (remove) the booster vacuum line (hose) connection from the engine - or unplug the vacuum line at the end opposite the booster check valve connection.

      With the engine off - apply a vacuum to the booster through the hoas and check valve - using a handheld vacuum pump (MityVac or equivalent). The vacuum applied should hold - if it does not hold (reduction over several minutes), then the power booster diaphragm is faulty / ruptured.
      If the vacuum holds - no loss in vacuum over several minutes, then suspect the master cylinder.

      The parts are readily available from these many on-line sources,,,,, - to list only a few possibilities.
      In fact, they (RockAuto) list the power brake booster from around $64.70, and the brake master cylinder from around $54.00 for your vehicle.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix - Brakes - 1/6/2014
    Abs light comes on at random
    light comes on , shut off and restart car and it turns off . no check engine light . happens while driving . once in a while .
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/6/2014 HouseCallAuto
      There is a fault code stored in the abs module that will tell important diagnostic info but requires a code reader capable of reading the codes. A tool like an Actron CP9580 or similar is needed. That tool is about $250 or you have to pay someone to read the codes for you. The auto stores cannot read abs codes for free like they do the engine codes. They don't even read the abs codes for a price. So, in short there is a malfunction in the abs system, maybe a front wheel speed sensor but info is needed to know. Not a safety issue though.
  • Moses
    Moses - 1998 Pontiac Firebird - Brakes - 12/28/2013
    What is causing front right brakes to lock up?
    I have replaced the caliper and the brake hose, and the brakes are still locking up.
    • Jimm
      12/28/2013 Jimm
      Check the opposite side caliper and brake hose - usually the brake hoses are replaced in pairs / sets.

      The parts are readily available; try these on-line sources;,,,, - to list only a few possibilities.
      In fact, they (RockAuto) list the replacement flexible brake hose from around $13.00 for your vehicle.
  • Moses
    Moses - 1998 Pontiac Firebird - Brakes - 12/26/2013
    What causes the caliper on passenger side to lock up?
    The brake caliper on passenger side locked up. I loosen the bleeder valve slightly and it started working.
  • wrjabs55
    wrjabs55 - 1994 Pontiac Sunrunner - Brakes - 12/25/2013
    Front brakes last about 4-5,000 km replaced twice already ,when tested front brakes lock up and release as normal
    Dealer has suggested replacing both front calipers and the master cylinder and the booster and also the front cost which exceeds the value of the vehicle, any suggestions
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/22/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Dealers have no heart, they suck so bad. Unbolt the master cylinder and install two washers in between the booster and master cyl and see if the brakes now last longer. Before you do this buy an infrared thermometer so you can quickly measure the temperature of the front wheels at different times. You can get one very cheap online, like $15 harbor freight. Then you can compare temperatures after installing the washers. if the washers are helping the temperature will go down. If the washers solve this then replace just the master cyl.
      12/22/2013 HouseCallAuto
      One washer under each ear of the master cyl.
    • bear.1216
      12/25/2013 bear.1216
      You did not mention how the rear brakes are functioning. Non- functional rear brakes will cause the front brakes to do all the stopping and will wear out very fast. If the fronts apply and release normally then you should make sure the rear does the same. Check for pressure to the rear brakes by bleeding the system. You should have good pressure to all wheels with a good stream out of eash bleeder screw. If you have no fluid flowing to the rear then suspect the master cylinder.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2001 Pontiac Grand Am - Brakes - 12/12/2013
    No brakes or pedal, serviceman stumped.
    ABS light was on so serviceman fixed, no light now. Now it doesnt have any brakes. Replaced calipers, Master Cylinder, bled all brake lines. No leaks. You can pump the brake and they will get hard but eventually the pedal goes back to the floor. Also didnt find a ...
    • Jimm
      12/12/2013 Jimm
      Most likely, the problem will be related to air in the master cylinder - was the master cylinder bled (while on the bench) completely before it was installed to the vehicle? If not, start here and fully bleed the brake master cylinder - as it will also contain an amount of residual air.

      Check the 'How-To-Guides' feature on the AutoMD website for the specific steps to bench bleed the brake master cylinder.

      The other possibility is a leak in the power brake booster - located just behind the brake master cylinder.
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/12/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Some cars if you put calipers on switched sides, an inexperienced mechanic could miss that and you will not achieve a brake pedal. Another strategy during this diagnostic phase is assuming that the loss of the brake pedal is being caused by an anomaly at ONE of the wheels. To try to uncover that anomaly, use a tiny vice-grip or other suitable tool and clamp off one brake hose at a time, after clamping the hose closed carefully now check the pedal and see what wheel improves the pedal after clamping it shut. The logic here being that if the brake cannot actuate on that wheel, it rules out the components at that wheel as a cause.
      12/12/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Or it rules it in as a cause....
  • tim
    tim - 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix - Brakes - 12/9/2013
    Getting an occasional amber abs warning light
    The light comes on for no apparent reason. driving at freeway speed or city driving may trigger. brake fluid level normal. No unusual pad or rotor wear.
    • HouseCallAuto
      3/21/2011 HouseCallAuto
      If you have interest in trying to diagnose this yourself, the first step is buying a code reader that is ABS capable. Then read the codes and then post the codes here and we can help. No codes, you cannot find the cause.
      3/21/2011 tim
      Will obtain code(s). Thanks.
    • Sammy
      12/9/2013 Sammy
      poss wheel speed sensor or wiring to that sensor compare ohms and a/c out put
  • michael roy
    michael roy - 1999 Pontiac Montana - Brakes - 11/13/2013
    What would cause my brake light to go on?
    The pedal goes to the floor
    • bear.1216
      11/13/2013 bear.1216
      Usually it only comes on when low on brake fluid. Check the level in the reservoir and top it off. The light may also come on when there is a problem with the system like a leak. The light will also stay on if the parking brake is applied. Make sure the parking brake pedal is completely released.
  • cmacleod1815
    cmacleod1815 - 2007 Pontiac Montana - Brakes - 9/16/2013
    Do you put the caliber bolt with the pointy end on the top or the botttom on front brakes?
    I have a 2007 pontiac montana and I'm trying to replace the front brakes. I have noticed the caliber bolts are different and was wondering if it matters how the bolts are put in. One bolt has a pointy end and the other doesn't and was wondering which one goes on the ...
  • Jason
    Jason - 2004 Pontiac Grand Am - Brakes - 9/3/2013
    Replaced Brakes, rotors, and caliper bolts less than a month ago! Brake pads less than half left already??
    Wife took a short road trip, 6 hr drive, next day there is a hum from drivers side front, burning smell, and front tire/rim is HOT! Pulled tire thinking bearings were shot. No wiggle in tire, but the pads a 1/2 to 3/4 gone! less than a month old??? Ideas?
    • bear.1216
      9/3/2013 bear.1216
      Your brake caliper is not releasing. Could be bad caliper or bad brake hose. Inspect brake hose for cracking pinches or twists. Loosen brake bleeder screw and push piston in. With bleed screw open it should push in fairly easy. If it binds your caliper is shot. In some cases if you push back the piston with the bleeder closed it can force contaminants back into the ABS controller and master cylinder causing problems. You most likely need a caliper. Brake calipers should always be replaced in pairs. You should replace both front calipers front pads and machine both rotors for a fresh start. If on a tight budget you could get one loaded front caliper and machine the rotor.
  • mike13
    mike13 - 2001 Pontiac Grand Am - Brakes - 9/2/2013
    ABS, Trac Off, and Brake light on, but brakes are fine?
    Had both front Hub assembles replaced, and brakes checked. ABS and Trac Off lights come on as soon as car moves forward, brake light comes on occasionally shortly after.
    • HouseCallAuto
      9/2/2013 HouseCallAuto
      High probability of a bad EBCM (electronic brake control module), but you must check for abs codes first. After you read the "C" codes, update the post with the code numbers please.
      9/8/2013 mike13
      Okay, Haven't had the codes check yet but once i do ill put them on. I do think it has something to do with the ECBM after more research.
    • diyautoelectric
      9/2/2013 diyautoelectric
      You need to get the abs codes checked , it is most likely a wheel speed sensor bad if it only comes on after moving
  • 3.3
    3.3 - 1993 Pontiac Grand Am - Brakes - 9/1/2013
    ABS Light Stays On Most of the Time.
    Normally when I start my 1993 Grand Am 3.3, I hear a click and the ABS light goes off after about 2 seconds and stays off. But now it only does this until the motor warms up, then, no click sound and the ABS light stays on all day. Next morning, exact same ...
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