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Discussion Starter #1
Got wheel bearing replaced drivers side, by a garage and ever since hand brake light has been flashing. Now hand brake light is on all the time and now i have no brakes, pedal hits the floor. Checked brake fluid level, all gone. Topped it up and fluid is staying in the reservoir, pumped brake pedal for ages fluid level stayed the same. Also i have checked for a leak and cant see anything.

Would the cause of this be the brake servo seals?

Thanks Natasha
 

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This doesn't sound good, when did you have this work done / how long after the work was done did you notice the deterioration of the brakes?

This could be any number of things, including air in the brake fluid, or in even in the servo. Have you noticed anything suspicious such as puddles near the wheels, or evidence of leaking fluid?

I wouldn't drive it anywhere other than a garage and even then I would be hesitant in driving it.
 

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Got wheel bearing replaced drivers side, by a garage and ever since hand brake light has been flashing.
The handbrake light is also the brake fluid level warning light.

As above DON'T DRIVE IT.
 

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You'll have an airlock in the system. The brakes will need to be bled ( all four wheels ) - you won't get the pedal back otherwise. Hopefully the ABS unit has fluid in it - if it has drained it can add complications.

You'll also need to find where the leak is as the fluid has to have gone somewhere. I'd check all four wheels ( not just the one that work was done on ) where the hard pipes connect to the rubber pipes. The rubber pipes themselves and the bleed nipples on the calipers.

Inboard of the left rear wheel is a brake balance valve. Check there's no leak there. It's a square cast iron box between the exhaust silencer and the wheelarch and quite high up. Difficult to see, but if the leak is there you should find it fairly easily.

A leak in any of these places shouldn't be hard to spot - there'll be brake fluid everywhere. Use your nose as well as your hands and eyes!

The other possibility would be the join in the middle of the pipes running down the transmission tunnel in the centre of the car. Tricky to see those though.

If you had a leak at the servo/master cylinder, I suspect you'd be able to smell the fluid inside the car - but I may be wrong on that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi thanks for the info, but there is no leaks anywhere. Would the brake sevro seals failing cause this to happen?
It was about a day or two after the work was done that the hand brake light came on.
If there was a leak then would the fluid not leave the reservoir? As it is not moving from there when i pump the brakes.
 

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...As it is not moving from there when i pump the brakes.
What about when you pump the clutch?

(although that still wouldn't explain your total lack of brakes!)
 

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Hmm, when the garage rewound the pistons, the brake fluid may have been pushed out of the resevoir and if that happened and they didn't replace the fluid, then that might be your problem. The most likely indication of this would be evidence of recent fluid near the fluid resevoir.

I'm beginning to thing that the garage you have used is neither an Alfa dealer nor a reputable Alfa indie...
 

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There will have been a leak somewhere. Everytime you applied the brakes, the fluid will have been pumped out and when the pedal hit the floor the system will have been emptied. Now you have put some more fluid into the reservoir, the fluid will have only travelled so far untill it hit air. Your brakes now have an airlock, as said previously. They will need to be bled and if you can't do this yourself, you will need to get a mechanic to do it for you. Under no circumstances attempt to drive your car. Why have you not contacted the garage who changed the bearing. You could have had a very serious accident and been killed or killed someone else.I would contact the garage and if you don't get a satisfactory conclusion, I suggest you contact your local trading standareds agency. Let us no how you get on. This is very serious.
 

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Best to phone up the garage in the morning and explain the problem to them, if they say bring it in, we'll have a look at it, then I would do so.

If the first garage tries to fob you off, then go to a reputable garage / inspector and ask them to inspect the car and then produce a written report of the problem as they see it.

EDIT - as Alfapash says above, the written report will help if you have to contact the trading standards agency.
 

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Have it towed to the garage though.

I think you have a leak somewhere, just not leaking out till your actually using the brakes. Topping up the reservoir will not bleed back into the system, brakes will need bleeding for that.
 

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I don't think brake servo seals would cause the problem. Old servos, such as the Girling Powerstop, could draw brake fluid into the inlet manifold if the seals failed, but in modern "pedal-pusher" servos the vacuum & fluid circuits are completely separate.
 

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I don't think brake servo seals would cause the problem. Old servos, such as the Girling Powerstop, could draw brake fluid into the inlet manifold if the seals failed, but in modern "pedal-pusher" servos the vacuum & fluid circuits are completely separate.
You're probably right, but I have seen the pedal-pusher type as fitted to our cars completely full of brake fluid as a result of the manifold vacuum drawing fluid out of the back of the master cylinder (past the pistons). This, obviously, causes a drop in fluid level. When the servo is removed, tip it over and I wouldn't be too surprised if a litre or more of fluid poured out of the vacuum chamber!

EDIT: so, re-reading your post, I agree - it's not the brake servo seals but actually the master cylinder seals that cause the problem.

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey thanks for the info! Just back from the garage its a calliper :( Not so bad i guess. Jst need to wait on the part coming and hopefully thats all. Hope I haven't done any more damage driving it with no brake fluid. I was told a good while ago that the calliper was on its way out, just forgot all about it. With the big list of things i still have to do to my wee ALF.

Thanks again for the help, guess i was just hoping it would be a sensor or a plug back in job :(

Natasha :)
 

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You're probably right, but I have seen the pedal-pusher type as fitted to our cars completely full of brake fluid as a result of the manifold vacuum drawing fluid out of the back of the master cylinder (past the pistons). This, obviously, causes a drop in fluid level. When the servo is removed, tip it over and I wouldn't be too surprised if a litre or more of fluid poured out of the vacuum chamber!

EDIT: so, re-reading your post, I agree - it's not the brake servo seals but actually the master cylinder seals that cause the problem.

-Alex
This is interesting info to me, as I occasionally have a mysterious brake fluid leak. But for example I might drive my car, all is fine and then leave it in the garage and next time I come back to it half the fluid will be gone. Happens very intermittently and other symptoms I have are sometimes the brake pedal will be a lot harder than usual and the brakes will be quite more effective feeling but sometimes they stick on which results in my car stuck at random. I can usually cure it by pumping the brake pedal whenever I come to a full stop.
 

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Hey thanks for the info! Just back from the garage its a calliper :( Not so bad i guess. Jst need to wait on the part coming and hopefully thats all. Hope I haven't done any more damage driving it with no brake fluid. I was told a good while ago that the calliper was on its way out, just forgot all about it. With the big list of things i still have to do to my wee ALF.

Thanks again for the help, guess i was just hoping it would be a sensor or a plug back in job :(

Natasha :)
Get well soon Alf :thumbs:
 
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