The brake warning light on my Acura RL suddenly went on as I was arriving home a few weeks ago, and I found that it had lost nearly all braking, the brakes only working at the extreme of the pedal’s travel. I found the fluid reservoir low so I topped that off and then bled the brakes at each wheel. The brake seemed still seemed softish so I ordered a new master cylinder. This turned up today, but I found that it was not the right one. Anyway, I bled the brakes again and the pedal is very firm with the engine off, and softer with the engine on, this must be down to the vacuum assist. Problem is now I cannot remember what ‘normal’ is like, so I took the car for a gentle drive around the block. The brakes seem to work well but are very light to operate. My other car is a Civic which I think doesn’t have vacuum assist. Now on the Acura, slamming the brakes on at 30mph causes the ABS to kick in.
So it sounds like some air in the system, but how can I be sure it is NOT the master cylinder? Basically I do not want the system to fail, but I cannot locate a leak anywhere.
The only things I can think of are that when it went for an inspection a few months ago, one of the calipers needed freeing off and this process lowered the brake fluid level and caused the introduction of some air, or similarly the brake pads have worn and reduced the brake fluid volume to the pint where air got in the system.
Like I say, the brakes seem to work well now, but is this temporary? What is the advice? Should I go ahead and replace the master cylinder, provided I can find one that fits?
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