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Old 03-25-2010, 11:01 PM   #1
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Spongy Brake Pedal Feel

About 9 months ago, I changed out the worn brake pads for Pagid race pads and also did a complete flush of the brake fluid. The brakes after that were nothing short of amazing, just a light tap on the pedal and the car stopped. Lately the crisp pedal feel is gone, and I wouldn't say it is spongy, yet I am used to a lot better feel.

Now for the questions. Is the pedal softer because the pads have worn down (there is still about 70% life in them judging by eye) or is it that I need to flush (or at least bleed) the fluid again?

I don't really want to go through the process if it will not help, but don't mind the 30 bucks and a couple of hours one lazy Sunday flushing the fluid if it will give me that "new brakes" feel again.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:55 AM   #2
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It sounds like the brake feel you're looking for isn't desireable and the car is working like it should. Your brakes were "touchy" before because you just put on new pads and now they are broken in so the touchiness is gone. You don't want the brakes to be too grabby initially; some people equate grabby brakes with good brakes. The system automatically compensates for pad wear and keeps the pads right next to the rotors all the time. The brake pedal should be firm once some decent force is applied and if it is bleeding the brakes will not change anything. If it is not then I would go ahead and bleed the system again.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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Sponginess is normally credited to air in the system, usually close to the caliper, so another bleed should bring it back to normal.
Another factor is that you say you used Pagid "race" pads which are not ideal for the road as they glaze easily. Before replacing the fluid, I would try a few (at least 3 or 4) high speed stops to de-glaze the pads - safely of course.
And if you have a Boxster S with drilled rotors, you need to clean out the holes as they easily fill up with brake dust. I use a high pressure air lance which is a lot quicker than doing it with a piece of wire......
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys.

I wouldn't have said the pedal feel was "touchy" Adam, at least not after the pads were properly bedded. It just feels like there is excessive travel in the pedal before much force is applied by the pistons now. What I wasn't sure of, and you answered it for me, is whether the system would compensate for the wear by keeping the baseline pressure of the pads against the rotors constant.

You are right about the Pagid pads glazing Steve. Every so often I need to make some aggressive stops to "rough them up" again, it also gets rid of the squeal that occurs when they glaze. I have never cleaned the drill holes before, though I will start today. Thanks for that tip. If it is common to find air in the system close to the calipers then I think a quick bleed to remove the first 10 or 20ml of fluid should do the trick.

Thanks again.
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