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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, this happens to me again on a very hot day. The symptom is: all of sudden, the brake pedal becomes stiff. I mean I can only depress down the pedal just a little bit. Then when I want to accelerate, the engine works very hard and speed picks up very slowly. RPM will shoot to 3000. When I remove my foot from the gas pedal, the speed drops very fast. The car slows down much sooner than usual. So my feeling is the brake is dragging the car. The dealer cannot duplicate the problem during short test drive. So what can be wrong? The brake booster was replaced a few months ago. Is it possible it provides too much boost? Thanks.
 

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If you have enough dragging to actually reduce acceleration, one of the rotors (or less likely, the emergency brake drum) should be hotterenhell. Often, you can smell the hot brake pads when this happens. In any case, the dealer should have pulled the wheels and at least eyeballed the caliper/rotor interface and checked for any obvious sticking of the calipers and overheating of the rotors (visual) and the e-brake.

What you're describing doesn't require duplication, it requires inspection -- and soon. Coming in with the symptoms you describe -- he never should have let that vehicle leave the shop without having a look.

If your dealer isn't swift enough to realize this could turn into a safety issue, find an independent shop you can trust who will pull the wheels off and try to ascertain what the heck is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just walked to the dealer but the service advisor is rude. He said there's nothing to check if it doesn't happen to him. But I will bring the car in tomorrow anyway and have the problem to be recorded.

If it's seized caliper, can you feel it on the brake pedal?
 

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Depending upon what's happening, there's no telling what the pedal will feel like.

The idea that there's "nothing to check" if "it doesn't happen to him" is total hogwash. His first order of business is to see if the rather significant symptoms you have reported can be traced back to any damage that may have already been caused by this problem. You're saying he didn't even bother to look at the components yet, and that's just nuts. Whoever looked at your vehicle is a liability problem waiting to happen, and they're not very common.

I guess the good news is that he isn't trying to make a fast buck off of you. The bad news is that he isn't even properly taking care of legitimate business that shows up at his doorstep.

I can't believe how many times I've suggested that people RUN, not walk, away from a dealer this week. Must be a record.
 

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I can imagine a stuck parking brake causing that much drag, but intermittently while driving? And with a hard brake pedal? It doesn't add up. Neither does a stuck caliper on one wheel.

Sticking brake pedal mechanism? Something to do with the proportioning system? Whatever... canderson is right. You need to find a different service department pronto.
 
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First off, whats up with canadien dealers?? Have read several posts of them putting off customers, even denying to service thier cars?? Sounds like you may have a caliper hanging up. Two options, microcenter sells an infrared thermometer that you can aim at the rotor to see the temp, the hottest one is the culprit. Option 2 is to raise the vehicle albeit on a lift or one wheel at a time and find the one with the most rolling resistance. hope this helps.
 

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I thought of the old 'touch it fast' method in post #2, but didn't want to risk that the OP would wind up burning himself! Actually, if it's hanging enough to slow down the vehicle to the degree the OP claims, just putting your hand near the rotor would be enough to detect a LOT of excess heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys. I'm stuck with dealer because the car is still under warranty. I also started the other thread 'pad 10% left after 44000km'. So I just let them do the front brake job and start from there.
 

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I hadn't noticed that you had another thread running, but if you only have 10% left after that distance (about 27,500 mi), that's unusual too, and further suggests that something has been hung up somewhere.
 

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Hi, this happens to me again on a very hot day. The symptom is: all of sudden, the brake pedal becomes stiff. I mean I can only depress down the pedal just a little bit. Then when I want to accelerate, the engine works very hard and speed picks up very slowly. RPM will shoot to 3000. When I remove my foot from the gas pedal, the speed drops very fast. The car slows down much sooner than usual. So my feeling is the brake is dragging the car. The dealer cannot duplicate the problem during short test drive. So what can be wrong? The brake booster was replaced a few months ago. Is it possible it provides too much boost? Thanks.
Exact same thing happened to me AFTER the brake light switch recall/replacement. Yes, the brakes heated up, but I was close enough to the dealer to get it back. They inspected the brakes and so far, all is well, they work fine. The dealer said they "adjusted" the brake switch.
Just my opinion, but I think the technician was in too much of a hurry to get the job done. It doesn't look like it's that difficult of a job, maybe some more informed people here can clue me in.
Needless to say, but I was furious.
Sorry for the rant.
 

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@jwall
I recall your post, I think. I wasn't too jazzed about the answer that your tech gave you for that, either. Was surprised to think that there was anything near enough threads on the end of those switches to cause that much engagement of the brakes. Still...

The switch is designed so that pushing the pedal allows the 'button' of the switch to be released. It's normally pressed into the housing by the arm of your brake pedal when your foot is off the brake. It's what is commonly known as a "normally closed" switch (if you hold it in your hand, the button is driven out by a spring internal to the switch, and in that position, it's electrically closed). The normal return spring pressure of the brake pedal holds the pedal back against the switch, keeping the button depressed (electrically open).

It IS adjustable. If one installed the switch such that the brake pedal was being pushed down out of its nominal release position, yes, there would be a slight amount of pressure on the brakes. Sure would have thought it would have been 'slight' if any, though.

The switch is threaded to get the position right, and lock nuts are used to firmly set the switch into place.
 

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That kind of hurry nobody needs (sigh).
What I described above is how they've been doing brake switches for absolutely eons. Nothing new or fancy involved, and something any decent mechanic should be able to accomplish without screwing it up. There's a procedure to be followed for the adjustment, and it sounds as though he just slapped the switch in with no adjustment at all.
 

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@Don
He doesn't say what part of Canada he's in, and there's always a chance the next nearest dealer is a 4 day dog sled ride away.:rolleyes: Here's hoping that's not the case and that he can find a much better service dept at another dealer, but I get the impression that's not going to be convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One good news is the mechanic who did the brake job also fixed a problem I've complained 3 times. There's knocking/grinding sound from the front end when I make turn with foot on brakes. It's caused by loosing brake pads. I also heard the mechanic whispered to service advisor. something like that the pad is too close to rotor.

Regarding the dealerships, I'm in Toronto. I bought from a dealer close to my home but I go to the dealer close to my workplace for service and warranty job. So I don't need to wait there.
 

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The Dealer is the best people to repair your vehicle.
They have extensive experience on your vehicle and work almost exclusively on your vehicle.
As when we go to a heart specialist sometimes we have to go more than once to determine the best course of action for longevity

We sometime have to spend a while or a few times in order to determine the correct course of action !

MIles
 
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