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MY BRAKE PEDAL DOSEN'T GRAB UNTIL ALMOST TO THE FLOOR. I ALSO NOTICED THAT MY E-BRAKE PULLS ALL THE WAY UP & DOES NOT KEEP THE CAR FROM MOVING. COULD I HAVE BROKEN CABLE? I JUST PUT NEW PADS ON THE FRONT A FEW DAYS AGO & NEW ONES ON THE BACK LAST YEAR. COULD IT BE AS EASY AS HAVING AIR IN THE LINES? HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN. I READ HOW THE CALIPERS WORK IN PAIRS, DIAGONALLY FROM EACH OTHER & IF ONE SET FAILS, THAT COULD CAUSE YOUR PEDAL TO GO DOWN. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS? THANKS It's a 2000 OB, Legacy wagon.

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I'm not a brake expert, so hopefully someone will jump in, but it does sound like air in your system or a broken line.

This is a rather dangerous condition, so I would drive straight to the nearest garage and get it looked after.
 

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The first thing I would reccomend you do is bleed your brakes. If you replaced your pads, you should bleed your brake lines. From what you described, it sounds like you didn't do that.

I can walk you through the basics of how to do it, but if you're not comfortable doing it, take it to a shop to have the brakes looked at.

The parking brake cable may be broken. To find out, crawl under the car while a friend/wife/someone pulls up on the emergency brake. If you are looking at the rear brakes from under the car, you should see the cable move. If the cable moves on both sides (yup, make sure you check both sides), then it sounds like it may need adjustment. Parking brake cable adjustment varies from model to model, but I can try to walk you through the basics if you want to tackle the project.

If you would/could, please state the year model/trim of your OB, it will help in providing directions.
 

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More than likely you need to bleed off the air again--at all four sides to be safe. go ahead and try that first. Brian
 

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Big-D--

i think you have 2 separate problems here. the e-brake prolly is just cable adjustment. Random's procedure is abt right.

on the pedal squish, it could be a # of things. going from most to least likely:

1. brake fluid needs to be bled. and if it hasn't been changed and flushed out in 2+ yrs, you need to do that.

brakes work on principle that fluid is not compressible, so when you apply force to it by shoving on pedal, it transmits the force to the calipers and thus shoves the pistons in the calipers, which in turn shove the pads against the disc rotor.

if there's air bubbles in system (often due to hydraulic part of system having been opened up, as when you replace or rebuild a caliper or master cyl), the air compresses instead of the caliper pistons moving. as fluid gets old, it actually absorbs water from the air...even through the hoses and reservoir walls, i've read....it's what is called hygroscopic, meaning a huge affinity for water. this contaminated fluid also compresses instead of transmitting force as it shd.

this is cheap and relatively easy, if tedious. and you need a friend to help push brake pedal as you work bleeder screws if you don't have spl tools for bleeding (vac or pressure bleeder). and you may need to do it twice, once again after you drive car for a few days.

2. caliper seals going away. unlikely that all 4 wd do this at same rate, tho.

3. master cyl going out.

basically, try the fresh fluid and bleeding 1st, as you need to eliminate this variable to even diagnose the other possible problems. i can't think of anything off top of my head that they could have done wrong in course of replacing pads which would cause this.

brakes are very simple, but there's no room for error. as sduford correctly noted, this is dangerous situ, ESP IF YOUR E-BRAKE ALSO DOESN'T WORK PROPERLY.
 

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Certainly sounds like air in the lines, but I wouldnt think its related to pad replacement, UNLESS you opened a bleeder or connector somewhere in the process. I usually just push the piston(s) back with a lever, AND watch for overflow back at the master tank - if it spills over, it will eat your paint off! Never had an air problem with this process in years.
jp 05 OBW 5MT 2.5i
 
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