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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2018, 06:12 pm
ajhockey3's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ontario
Posts: 601
Default Brakes stopped working

I finished my shift at work, hopped in the PT Bruiser, let it idle for around half a minute. drove forward to a 4 way stop, Pushed the brake pedal and nothing happened, The pedal did not move, I pushed hard as possible and the brakes did not engage. Luckly no one was ahead of me and didn't get in a accident.


After that the brakes work flawlessly


I'm getting really nervous to drive, I pay $278 a month for liability insurence due to my age (17) and can't imagine how expensive it will be if I get in a collision.

Anything I should check?
Should I flush the brakes or change them?


The PT Cruiser sat outside for 7 hours in -20C weather (thats -2F in freedom units), Its really cold and we have extreme cold warnings constantly for the last week. however the engine started and had no other issues. Its been -20 most days the last week and Iv had no issues leaving it outside for a few hours, However it is stored in a non heated garage overnight thats a bit warmer than outside.



Another issue I am having is the heater isn't working right

When I move the dial to blow air just out the top vents, the dial quickly forces it self into the middle. And If I hold the dial at top vents it doesn't blow anything through them. Its freaking cold and all I can do is change the dial to defrost and let that warm me up. I know its a physical connection but how much of a pain in the ass is it to fix? Hopefully pretty easy because I don't want to work on my car in this weather
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Old 06 Jan 2018, 06:42 pm
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Location: Darien, IL | Forest Park, IL
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Default Re: Brakes stopped working

no clue but glad you're OK!

sometimes the brake booster vacuum line can come off, but the car will idle at 3000 rpm when it happens. this has been reported here a lot of times. so the LARGE 3/8" or 10mm VACUUM LINE from the booster to the intake would be the first thing i would check. maybe it's unhooked/just sitting on the nipple it connects to.

or maybe you could have moisture in the line that froze, but i've never heard of such a thing. if i were you i'd ask your grandfather his opinion, it will likely be better than ours.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2018, 06:46 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 240
Default Re: Brakes stopped working

Before you move the car again, test the brakes by pushing on the pedal to see if it moves the normal distance. I'm suspecting the brake booster valve was stuck not giving you power assist. This isn't a common failure but given the cold it is possible.

The power brake booster is designed so if you lose vacuum from the engine, the brakes will still work but be hard to press. Here is how a vacuum brake booster works. ( there are probably some good vids on the net )

Inside the booster can is a diaphragm with a rod connected to the brake master cylinder. On the other side of the diaphragm is a rod for the peddle and a valve, this rod can press on the master cylinder rod but isn't directly connected to it.

When the pedal is up, engine vacuum is present on both sides of the diaphragm, when you push the pedal, a valve opens allowing air to enter one side of the diaphragm. Now that the pressures are unequal, the master cylinder rod if pushed forward. At some point the pedal will catch up to the diaphragm and the valve will close, stop admitting air and any additional power assist will stop.

When the pedal is released, the valve allows engine vacuum to once again be present on both sides of the diaphragm. A large return spring in the booster brings the pedal back up.

As for the heater, this seems to be a common problem, Heater/AC Control Knob

My 06 was sitting for a few months before I got it and it suffered the same knob springs back problem. Don't force the knob, things can break.

Once I drove the car and the heater warmed up, the knob worked fine . Press your recirc button ( a car shape with an arrow looping around ) This will keep cold air from entering the cabin and decrease warm up time. Mine does not light up and needs attention. Mine is electrically driven but I'm not sure about other years.
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Old 15 Jan 2018, 05:32 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 240
Default Re: Brakes stopped working

It was 9 *F this AM , started car, let warm up 2 min, backed up and pressed brake peddle the normal amount. Power assist was limited and full assist was delayed. This occurred only one time.

Based on this I'd say the valve connected to the brake peddle isn't opening when temps are very low. This could be from stiff rubber or thick grease ( if used ).
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Old 15 Jan 2018, 06:16 pm
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Default Re: Brakes stopped working

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Although I may have missed it.... members when asking about part recommendations and really about anything for the maintenance work or drivability should not assume we all know the year and model and other IMPORTANT information about your PT Cruiser?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhockey3 View Post
Good idea ill put it in my signature
I know you are a FAST learner?

I realize you may not think this is important but if you want more appropriate answer to your specific PT Cruiser you might start including this.

The first thing I get from customers before talking about their issues is Year, Make and model. Try going into a parts store and asking for a part for you vehicle without this basic information.
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Old 15 Jan 2018, 07:38 pm
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Default Re: Brakes stopped working

The Force says it's a 2006 Non-Turbo PT Base model with 160,000 kilometers on it. The Force likes the metric system.

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Old 15 Jan 2018, 07:56 pm
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Default Re: Brakes stopped working

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhockey3 View Post
I finished my shift at work, hopped in the PT Bruiser, let it idle for around half a minute. drove forward to a 4 way stop, Pushed the brake pedal and nothing happened, The pedal did not move, I pushed hard as possible and the brakes did not engage. Luckly no one was ahead of me and didn't get in a accident.


After that the brakes work flawlessly


I'm getting really nervous to drive, I pay $278 a month for liability insurence due to my age (17) and can't imagine how expensive it will be if I get in a collision.

Anything I should check?
Should I flush the brakes or change them?


The PT Cruiser sat outside for 7 hours in -20C weather (thats -2F in freedom units), Its really cold and we have extreme cold warnings constantly for the last week. however the engine started and had no other issues. Its been -20 most days the last week and Iv had no issues leaving it outside for a few hours, However it is stored in a non heated garage overnight thats a bit warmer than outside.



Another issue I am having is the heater isn't working right

When I move the dial to blow air just out the top vents, the dial quickly forces it self into the middle. And If I hold the dial at top vents it doesn't blow anything through them. Its freaking cold and all I can do is change the dial to defrost and let that warm me up. I know its a physical connection but how much of a pain in the ass is it to fix? Hopefully pretty easy because I don't want to work on my car in this weather
First thing I would do is purge the old brake fluid. Brake fluid is hydrophilic, meaning that it absorbs water out of the air over time. If you have a lot of moisture in the brake lines, you may have had ice crystals form under extremely cold conditions. I'd also inspect every part of the braking system best I can. I don't usually recommend that folks go to a shop, but it you aren't completely comfortable inspecting the brakeing system, this is a one of few times it's really important to get it right. If you can't, consider letting a shop thoroughly check your brakes out.

For the vents, pull the center console and trace the cables with your hand. You should be able to figure out where it's binding up.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 16 Jan 2018, 09:03 am
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Default Re: Brakes stopped working

You might also want to check your emergency brake cable for ice buildup.
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Old 16 Jan 2018, 09:22 am
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Default Re: Brakes stopped working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
The Force says it's a 2006 Non-Turbo PT Base model with 160,000 kilometers on it. The Force likes the metric system.
When people/members ask for help we should not have to search out there other posts to find information about their PT cruiser? I may have been more incline to give some suggestions to help him but not for this guy everytime having to ask what he drives. I seldom, pop on these threads to help because generally we have members that give pretty good advise before me . However the thread it did catch my interest....at first. Not any more. Good luck you all helping this guy!


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 16 Jan 2018, 11:32 am
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Posts: 1,621
Default Re: Brakes stopped working

My first thought was the same as Handy's, in that the fluid may have frozen if it is old and has accumulated water over time.

But if you were pushing on the pedal and it didn't move at all, I am wondering how you got the car in gear since there is a brake interlock? So maybe there is some mechanical issue in the master cylinder or brake booster or was it that there is enough play in the pedal to disengage the shift lock but still not able to depress the pedal fully?
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