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Old 01-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #1
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Brakes locking on

Hi, my brakes seem to jam on if I leave it parked for a day or two. It happened today and there was a light rust film on the discs. I reversed it out and it broke free but then when I tried to brake I had no brakes for a few seconds. Also the breaking is a little soft unless I really put my foot down. The guy at the garage said my discs were near the limit. Does any of this make sense to anyone please?

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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A little corrosion on the discs is normal, if sitting or damp (they are made from steel). A bit of braking removes the surface rust and provides normal grip, assuming your pads and rotors are in good shape. When was the last time you inspected them? How many miles on the the set and how hard do you drive? Perhaps you need to re-bed them to remove pad buildup?
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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Sounds like rust in your brake booster or failed master cylinder. Definitely check it out soon. Brakes are sorta important.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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Your garage guy makes no sense to me.
Topless does, check the brake booster ... I wouldn't wait long.
My brake booster failed at 110 (another car) and blew a line off a caliper. You can imagine how well the brakes worked then.

As Topless said, "Brakes are sorta important." LOL
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:09 AM   #5
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Like the other guys, I also say checkout the master cylinder. Spongy brakes usually indicate a failing master cylinder. Also, if the caliper piston boot is broken causing dirt and moisture to get to the piston, this will cause sticking pads to the rotors.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:02 AM   #6
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I've had some Brembo equipped cars that would also get sticky brakes if the car sat for a few days in wet conditions. They would actually make a popping noise at each wheel when the car first moved. Surface rust is normal for all cast iron brake discs if they get wet. Mine rust in the few seconds after I wash the wheels. The first time you use the brakes there is a little grinding sound as the rust is scraped away.

The sponginess I can't explain. The brakes on my 2000 S lack feel and bite and I suspected a failed booster but I can hear it "breath" when I press the brake with the motor off. If I press the pedal about 6 times (motor off) and then start the car with my foot on the pedal I can feel it react to the fresh vacuum and sink under the weight of my foot. On my car pressing the pedal hard enough will activate the ABS so I need to do a little more investigation. I know the discs are worn but I think that should only come into play from multiple brake applications (fade) and my car's brakes act funny all the time. I wish I had a chance to feel the brakes on a new Boxster. My 2010 GMC pickup actually feels like it has better brakes.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:09 AM   #7
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Back to the original post, you don't state how old your car is, when or if the brakes have ever been serviced, etc. Brake fluid should be flushed every two years, since it has a great tendency to absorb moisture (can make the pedal soft)...when was the last time yours was done? It is difficult to "guess" at the problem, when the simple facts haven't even been disclosed.

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