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Old 22nd December 2011, 17:25   #1
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Default Strange Braking issue with the Esteem

Hi

In the last 2 months, twice I have rear ended other stationary vehicles. Luckily both the times my speed was quite slow and owners of other vehicles so good that I managed to get away without any issues.

First time when it happened, I was in conversation with my friend sitting beside me, so I tried to tell myself that it was a concentration lapse issue and nothing to do with brakes. More over there was no damage to either of the cars so issue was forgotten.

3 days ago it again happened. This time, my car suffered some damage. Also, this time I was not talking to anyone. I saw the car in front of me stopped. I applied the brakes lightly. The car was in 2nd gear..so speed was no more than 30. I had enough time to realize that I am not going to stop in time so pressed the brakes hard. The wheels did lock, but it was too late. I hit the santro at around 15-20kmph.

This is definitely some issue with brakes. Need your help in understanding it.

Some more info
1. Both these times, the car was taken out after a 2 month period standing in garage.
2. Both these times, I had already driven the car for substantial amount of distance with regular braking when this happened.
3. Both these times, after the incident when I tried to pay extra attention to the braking abilities of the car, I did not find anything wrong with it.

The car in question is Maruti Esteem VXI 2007 model. I have done only 27k kms so far. The last service was oct 2010 and the brake oil has never been changed nor have I explicitly got the brakes serviced.

Appreciate your help.

Regards,
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Old 23rd December 2011, 12:04   #2
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Default Re: Brake issue? - 4 yrs old esteem

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Originally Posted by amohit View Post
Hi

In the last 2 months, twice I have rear ended other stationary vehicles.

I had enough time to realize that I am not going to stop in time so pressed the brakes hard. The wheels did lock, but it was too late. I hit the santro at around 15-20kmph.
first, check your brake pads for wear, brake fluid level and any leakages.
was there anything else common in both these occurences except slow speeds (such as, you were going down a slope, or you did some good amount of high speed braking, etc.) sometime brakes fade under hard pressure and return to normal when they cool down; mostly caused by air in the brake system coupled with low brake fluid levels.
also it would be a good time to get your brakes serviced/cleaned and, if required, have the rotors skimmed.

Last edited by infotech58 : 23rd December 2011 at 12:06.
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Old 23rd December 2011, 12:30   #3
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Default Re: Brake issue? - 4 yrs old esteem

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Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
was there anything else common in both these occurences except slow speeds (such as, you were going down a slope, or you did some good amount of high speed braking, etc.)
In the first incident, the previous night I had driven to yercaud (250kms). The incident happened in Yercaud the next day morning.

In the second incident, I had driven to NIMHANS from marthalli (~20kms) and was returning after a break of 4 hrs.

Both the times I had just started driving the car and the incidents happened within 2 kms of starting to drive after a break long enough to cool down the brake pads.

I have anyway asked the service station to check the brake fluid, leakages etc. Did not ask for checking the wear and tear of break pads as I assumed if there was some problem there, then it must occur every time I brake.
Anyway, will ask them to check it when I go to pick the car.

Regards,
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Old 23rd December 2011, 12:55   #4
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Default Re: Brake issue? - 4 yrs old esteem

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Originally Posted by amohit View Post
Both these times, I had already driven the car for substantial amount of distance with regular braking when this happened.
As as ex-Esteem owner, I know just what the problem is : Brake FADE. The Esteem has lousy brakes that fade easily after extended usage. The only solution is to let them cool down for a while. Or alternatively, look up a set of performance pads & discs. They shouldn't be too hard to find, considering the kind of support the Esteem has always enjoyed in the Mod scene (including Motorsports).

When the brakes overheat / fade, stopping distances increase substantially.
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Old 23rd December 2011, 13:28   #5
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Default Re: Brake issue? - 4 yrs old esteem

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I know just what the problem is : Brake FADE....

... When the brakes overheat / fade, stopping distances increase substantially.
+1.

Also, the pedal gets mushy mushy, with no real bite. An immediate solution would be to get a pair of performance pads, considering the discs are warp free.

Another rare probability would be air in the lines. Go to a competent F.N.G and get the lines bled.
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Old 23rd December 2011, 14:45   #6
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Default Re: Strange Braking issue with the Esteem

I doubt if this has anything to do with fading ,unless you have jammed brake calipers that are rubbing against the drum /disc and hence fading due to the heat . Also ,you have mentioned that the wheels did lock ,which means the pedal had to travel more before the brakes were engaged .

I have had issues during warranty period when the brakes wouldnt engage at times when the AC was On.and the pedal wouldnt go beyond a particular point . It was then diagnosed as a faulty brake booster which was replaced under warranty.
The MASS should be able to solve your problem.
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Old 9th February 2012, 18:00   #7
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Default Re: Strange Braking issue with the Esteem

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It was then diagnosed as a faulty brake booster which was replaced under warranty. The MASS should be able to solve your problem.
If the problem is indeed the brake booster, it will take a while for MASS to source the part for you, but you should still be able to use the vehicle till the replacement brake booster is available as long as you are aware of the braking limitation in your vehicle. The brake booster has an order time of about 1 month and costs around Rs.5k.
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