156 brake failure - Alfa Romeo Forum
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156 brake failure

Last week whilst driving home the foot brake went straight to the floor undefr normal braking,lucky enough a couple of pumps brought braking back,took the car onto a private road and gave the brakes some serious hammer the fault never returned,today the same thing happened to the girlfriend,the ABS and engine management light come on when the fault happens
right what have i checked

removed front calipurs and checked (pads have about 5mm of meat on them)
brake fluid nice and clean and at the correct level
N/S rear hand brake cable snapped (I have known about this for over a month so i dont think it's connected as the fault only started a couple of days ago)

I have done a search on here and there are lots of threads on ABS but i cant find anything specific to whats happening to my car

my next thoughts are master cylinder or ABS unit but I dont know how to check them

I appreciate any info you guys can give
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Sunds like the master cylinder, ive had issues with mine although not quite the same.

Master cylinders generaly create a sinking pedal, ie if you maintain a steady pressure while the cars running it will sink to the floor as the fluid is leaking past the seals internally. pumping it returns up the reassure. try this with the engine running and not it should be a lot stiffer when not running. The abs is probably on as the sensors wil be confused with a large variance in preasure betwen each corner of the vehicle.

If its a V6 or a 2.4 the cylinders are like hens teeth beware replacements as the outlets can be different pipe sizes and the cylinders have 2 bore sizes and different travel lenghts.

Good luck
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You'd be glad of a fully functioning handbrake if pumping the pedal hadn't brought the foot brake back into action!
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Sounds like master cylinder +1
I agree with Savoy I have had something similar with another car. Brake disappears then comes back.
You could try a rebuild kit if there is one available but be very careful if you go that route as any defects or scores in the cylinder bore will compromise the outcome. Best way would be a OE replacement and fix the handbrake asap.
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Faulty handbrake = MOT failure. Slapped wrist and fine if plod catch you.
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Hey folks

Im having some issues with the brakes on my 156. Until the pedal is on the the floor the brakes have no effect. I have some use of the brakes so its not a complete failure. Ive been told it could also be the brake master cylinder?? Can this be fixed without removing the engine? It seems to be in a fairly uncompromising place

This is my first alfa so im seeking some advice before i dive in!



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It could be many, many issues... But usually down to master cylinder seals... If in doubt whatsoever... Get an expert opinion ASAP... Brakes are the most important item on a car and should not be repaired or even attepted by anyone who does not have a full understanding of what problems can be rectified.. Safety first... Remember its not just yourself you are putting at risk, its other road users and pedestrians too!

Why take the chance of getting it wrong.... Go to any tyre and exhaust centre and ask about a FREE brake check... Get the low down and than you know wher to start looking!

Last edited by Grahameo; 09-10-11 at 11:03.

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