URGENT PROBLEM - loss of all brake pressure overnight - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 09-01-06 Thread Starter
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URGENT PROBLEM - loss of all brake pressure overnight

Hopefully one of you guys will be able to help me on this. I went to use my '01 147 Sele yesterday and there was zero pressure on the brake pedal. Got the AA out and the guy confirmed that all fluid has been lost but could see no trace on any wheel, nor on the pedal or underneath.

This made us think it was the master cylinder, but I think it is hugely unusual for a master cylinder to just fail - I have never heard of that happening on any type of car, especially not one that's not yet five years' old.

But the really strange thing is that the whole thing happened without warning. Before yesterday, I had no brake problems with the car whatsoever and certainly no soft pedal or no warning lights that brake fluid was low. The last time I drove the car (about a week ago) it was 100% fine, so WTF has happened?

I'm trying to find a garage to take it into today (live in Streatham, SW London, any advice greatly received) but it does scare me that the brakes could fail so completely - anyone else heard of this problem? Good job it didn't happen whilst I was driving...

One idea - could it have been the cold weather recently?

And one possible clue - the powersteering has been making some really bad noises recently until it's very warm - is it possible that a spray of brake fluid from the master cylinder onto the belt could be causing that and therefore has my fluid been going for a while? (but then, if so there was never a warning light and it's now all gone when the car was parked)

Any thoughts gratefully received.
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Re: URGENT PROBLEM - loss of all brake pressure overnight

I'm having problems with the diagnosis from your AA man.....

I think it very unlikely or impossible for all the brake fluid in the master cylinder and brake lines etc. to be lost. That's why dual circuit brakes are used. Once the fluid enters the top two ports on the master cylinder casting then they should be completely separate for safety reasons.

The only possibility I can see is if the brake reservoir that feeds the master cylinder has a leak (above the entry point into the cylinder casting where it divides into two) - might be complete rubbish. Then if you applied the brakes air would enter both of the circuits...

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Last edited by Sunbar; 09-01-06 at 14:24.
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Re: URGENT PROBLEM - loss of all brake pressure overnight

interesting...but the reservoir was entirely empty and there was no visible leaks anywhere in the system...
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Re: URGENT PROBLEM - loss of all brake pressure overnight

Top up the master cylinder, bleed the brakes and see if it works. I reckon the master cylinder level has gradually leaked away (check pipes at bottom) which allowed air to enter the system. I think you'll still have fluid in the system but one big air bubble, giving the impression that they're totally knacked.

It could be caused by simply a loose hose at the bottom of the m/cylinder.

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