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I have a 2003 chrysler van i got my front brake pads changed the next day my brake pedal slipped to floor made it home by pumping brakes . had man come back an looked at it claimed a button on the steering column stopped my brakes from working and told me to not start it or anyhing it would blow my van up now im not a mechanic but im not a real dummy either. Now its been 8 days since he put brake shoe on an pedal goes down. Man wont call me even went by his house he woudent come to door any one know what may be the issue
 

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Something isn't holding hydraulic pressure. Maybe whoever worked on it forgot to tighten a bleeder on a caliper (after compressing the piston to reset the caliper for new pads) or allowed air to get into system and didn't properly bleed it out. Could be improper pad installation too. Maybe a leaking caliper after compressing the piston due to age/corrosion (happens sometimes).

Sounds like the "mechanic man" doesn't know what he did wrong, and is trying to avoid you. I hope you have his information, as you may need to seek legal recourse. You could take the van to a different shop and have them look at/diagnose it, take pictures of what they find before tampering/attempting to repair it, and contact the "mechanic" with what they find wrong, to see if he's willing to repair it at his cost (if it's his mistake). Otherwise, you may have to pay the new shop to fix it, and sue the "mechanic" for the repair bill.
 

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Check if there is a puddle of clear fluid around any of the 4 tires, open the hood and check the brake fluid level on the master cylinder (if you open the hood and look from the front it will be mounted on your right by the cabin. It will be after the battery with a yellow cap. Check make sure it is good level, if not add brake fluid. Then check and see if it is leaking brake fluid by any 4 tires. You could also try what Road Ripper mentioned above, I personally think that the mechanic who worked on your van messed something up and he knows it, either way it's a good idea to sue this mechanic man if he doesn't come back to look and fix it because if he did this to your van he will likely do it or has done it to other people's vehicles too.
 

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There is something wrong. And it is not a button on the steering column (likely referring the the traction control).

Now, trying to use legal resource to make a 'backyardigan' make it right, now that is rich.

There is more to a proper brake repair/maintenance than simply replacing 'pads'. So yeah, while now your van is unsafe to drive, it likely would not have lasted very well, very long anyway.
 

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either that mechanic just simply broke something, or the new pads was the straw that broke the camels back

have a different, real "professional" look at it, and remember that you always have your emergency brake which is cable driven

many mechanics will look at it for free, just tell them your situation and what happened
 

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It wouldn't surprise me if 'shade tree' just C-clamped the calipers without cracking the bleeders.

A hundred years ago, working at Sears auto center as a service adviser, I hung around the mechanics to learn about the new technology and systems. ABS had just started to appear. I forget the year but there was specific ways to do things that were different from 'the way we used to do stuff'

Anyone know if back feeding this ABS master cylinder could have hurt it?
 

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It wouldn't surprise me if 'shade tree' just C-clamped the calipers without cracking the bleeders.

A hundred years ago, working at Sears auto center as a service adviser, I hung around the mechanics to learn about the new technology and systems. ABS had just started to appear. I forget the year but there was specific ways to do things that were different from 'the way we used to do stuff'

Anyone know if back feeding this ABS master cylinder could have hurt it?
I always use a C-clamp, never had issues. The only difference is I use a flat piece of plywood for even pressure across the whole piston, I wouldn't be surprised if using just a C-clamp would damage the caliper piston by cracking it. I would also do a brake bleed to make sure there is no air in the system, but a slipping pedal to the floor would either mean a master cylinder fault, or an external or internal leak, possibly the return line and feed line have a fault and instead of building up pressure it sends it to the return line instead. Now that I think of it, maybe pressing the piston in too far could do this?
 

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I always use a C-clamp, never had issues. The only difference is I use a flat piece of plywood for even pressure across the whole piston, I wouldn't be surprised if using just a C-clamp would damage the caliper piston by cracking it. I would also do a brake bleed to make sure there is no air in the system, but a slipping pedal to the floor would either mean a master cylinder fault, or an external or internal leak, possibly the return line and feed line have a fault and instead of building up pressure it sends it to the return line instead. Now that I think of it, maybe pressing the piston in too far could do this?
I never open the bleeder when pressing the piston. I'll do that afterwards.

Fluid should move freely both ways.

Why use a piece of playwood when you can use one of the old brake pads? :oops:
 

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I also use the old brake pad, and usually just use a large screwdriver in the opening of the caliper to pry the rotor against the piston - no C-clamp needed. If I want to do a nice job, I'll lightly clamp the brake hose and open the bleeder while doing this to get the old fluid that is more likely to have water in it out of the caliper/system. It keeps the calipers from rusting on the inside.

I assumed since the van was taken to get the brake pads replaced, a shop did it and the first mechanic stopped by as a courtesy call. If this was one of those "gigs" on craigslist, forget about any legal compensation. That's the risk you take to get the job done cheaper.

I have read of the master cylinder going bad right after a brake job, as the pedal cycling through areas of the master cylinder that haven't been used in a while can tear the internal seals. Aluminum M/C are more prone to this. A way to find out is to unbolt the master cylinder from the booster and pull it away slightly (without disconnecting the lines) to check for a fluid leak. If it's wet with fluid, time to replace it.

I like when members post a location with their avatar, to get a sense of the environment the vehicle is in (rust belt) or if I could personally help in diagnosing/repair (except no one is ever from my immediate area).
 

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I never open the bleeder when pressing the piston. I'll do that afterwards.

Fluid should move freely both ways.

Why use a piece of playwood when you can use one of the old brake pads? :oops:
I didn't mean open the bleeder during, I meant bleed it after. Also, good idea, but I don't really want to touch the pads and get any more brake dust on me then I have to, because some pads still sold in stores have asbestos in them, between 2013-2016 the gov estimated that 330,000 brake pads were sold with asbestos in them, and you have no way to tell if your have them or not unless you take them to get tested.
 

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I didn't mean open the bleeder during, I meant bleed it after. Also, good idea, but I don't really want to touch the pads and get any more brake dust on me then I have to, because some pads still sold in stores have asbestos in them, between 2013-2016 the gov estimated that 330,000 brake pads were sold with asbestos in them, and you have no way to tell if your have them or not unless you take them to get tested.
No, it wasn't you, That part of my reply was directed to FabricGATOR
 

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Yes, an old brake pad, or two, comes in handy for when compressing the caliper piston or jacking up the vehicle.

Some DIYers like to crack the bleeder before they compress the piston, for whatever reason, maybe keeping old dirty fluid from going backwards in the system. Their choice but many, myself included, just force the old fluid back and bleed the line afterward, maybe.

As for the OP, the problem likely existed before the pads were replaced. There could be air in the system but just changing pads doesn't require the system to be opened or bled. What are the qualifications of the "mechanic"?
 

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If one is to assume that 1) the person who performed service was borderline competent and 2) no components failed during or after the service, there's probably air in the system.

"next day the pedal..." so it was working ok on the day of service?
That could point to air in the ABS Hydraulics - ABS system needs a special scan tool and separate bleeding procedure (which the guy probably can't do).

If the shade tree guy let all the fluid run out of the master cylinder reservoir, likely all you need is a good bleed job (for both base brakes and ABS)

If contamination got to the hydraulic valves in ABS HCU, more than likely HCU will need to be replaced.
 

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1st things first... always try to crack the bleeder screws on the old calipers / pistons. If they are seized or shear off, then I know I'll seriously be considering rebuilding, or more likely, replacing the calipers / pistons.

I suppose I could, but won't, complete a brake job with frozen or broken bleeder screws. So attempting to open the bleeder screws is the first thing I assess.

I also usually complete a brake job with clean fluid replacement. Some do, I imagine that many do not.

I am not an actor (but I play one on TV)
I do not pretend to be a Chrysler ABS brake engineer, nor a Chrysler trained brake mechanic. So if I attempt to compress a caliper and meet unreasonable resistance, perhaps there is a check valve engineered into the ABS system that restricts a large volume of fluid from free flowing back into the reservoir. I learned long ago not to force anything without considering an alternative procedure, such as compressing a caliper by venting the fluid out of the bleeder. Folks, either method is an acceptable procedure for allowing the caliper piston to retract into the casting. I may do one, the other, or both.

I asked a question, I floated the idea because I don't know with enough confidence to assure everyone that forcing fluid back through this particular ABS unit is always an acceptable practice on this make and model. BTW, I think I remember C-clamping the fluid back up into the reservoir on my front pad and rotor swap.
 
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Yes, an old brake pad, or two, comes in handy for when compressing the caliper piston or jacking up the vehicle.

Some DIYers like to crack the bleeder before they compress the piston, for whatever reason, maybe keeping old dirty fluid from going backwards in the system. Their choice but many, myself included, just force the old fluid back and bleed the line afterward, maybe.

As for the OP, the problem likely existed before the pads were replaced. There could be air in the system but just changing pads doesn't require the system to be opened or bled. What are the qualifications of the "mechanic"?
You only need to use this old brake pad on two piston calipers, on one piston system is not really needed, not even on composite piston.
 

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Hey FabricGATOR, best to loosen the cap on the reservoir to allow the backed up fluid to overflow easily. :)
 
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Similar thing happened to me but the pedal never fell to the floor, just very low pedal and if I pressed a bit harder while stopped the pedal would touch the floor. Happened when I bought it used and I don't know any service history of the car and I changed the pads. I did bleed the system when I changed the pads (fluid was dark with some black flakes from each caliper). I bled it again and didn't make a different, so I drove on dirt and hit the brakes hard to engage the abs. Did this a few times so any air in the abs gets cycled out. Then I flushed the system again, this time more dirt came out of the lines.

For me I think I pushed dirt back into the abs system which may have also introduced air into the system. When I was in school the instructor told us to crack the bleeder then push the caliper piston back so dirt, water, or air bubbles doesn't get pushed back into the abs system. I never did it this way because my other cars were brand new and I flush the brakes every 2 years so there are very little contaminants. My van was something else, i flushed it the first time until I saw clean fluid. Then after abs thing the fluid was very dirty again with prob 50 miles after the brake job. It's all good now with a firm pedal.
 

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You only need to use this old brake pad on two piston calipers, on one piston system is not really needed, not even on composite piston.
I find it makes the c-clamp easier to use, smoother, less twisting, been using that method for years. Works for me.
 
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I find it makes the c-clamp easier to use, smoother, less twisting, been using that method for years. Works for me.
Yes, you are correct, but not absolutely necessary, just to make your life easier.

On a two piston caliper, it is absolutely necessary.

But don't use plywood, use the old brake pad, it is already there anyways.
 
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