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2001 catera sport...w/ some minor customizations
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Discussion Starter #1
the last few months, a couple times when i start up the catera and put it into gear the brake pedal feels "dead" and barely able to stop the car from moving. it starts to crawl and i really have to jump on the brake to stop it.

however, if i wait a couple seconds before putting it into gear (as if to let the brake hydraulics get up to pressure), a light press on the brake pedal is sufficient to keep it stopped as normal.

so my approach has been to let it idle for a sec...

HOWEVER, today i had to jump on my brakes to avoid missing a turn (didnt see the sign 'til late) and the brake pedal had that same dead feeling and lack-of-power i described earlier. it was NOT the pulsing feeling like when ABS is activated. what concerns me is that the car had been running for 10 minutes and i was driving - i.e., the brake hydraulics should be fully up to pressure. what if i *really* need to stop for an emergency, and i get this dead pedal and loss of braking power?

anyone have an idea as to what this might be? i've NEVER experienced this before in any car i've owned.

i was noodling that i might just need the brake system bled and/or maybe new brake fluid installed. to my knowledge it's never had that done, and my catera is a 2001 w/ 60k miles.
 

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Did you have the car serivced anywhere recently?

By dead do you mean that there is no pressure and the pedal goes all the way to the floor?
 

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2001 catera sport...w/ some minor customizations
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255 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Did you have the car serivced anywhere recently?

By dead do you mean that there is no pressure and the pedal goes all the way to the floor?
no recent service.

pedal isnt dead, as in no back pressure. it's dead, as in doesnt move from it's position w/o a significant push! as if the booster isnt able to keep up.

i've felt a similar situation in a honda i used to own w/ it's power-steering. it had a slow power-steering fluid leak. when the fluid would get low, and i was turning the steering wheel rapidly in a parking lot, i'd "get ahead" of the steering boost and the effort would ramp up dramatically.
 

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Catera, ..
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it sounds to me like you have a power booster that is going bad, one of the internal vacum valves or the external valve in the vacum line to the booster is bad or hanging up. The few moments that you refer to after start up is the interval that is building vacum up in the booster.
Keep us posted.
 
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