Brake pedal intermittently goes to floor unless I tap first then I get normal resistance


Asked by Jan 19, 2015 at 10:27 PM about the 1996 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

96 Camry.  When I come to a
gradual stop there is little
resistance sometimes unless I
tap then depress pedal again
then it works.  No leaks, master
cylinder full.  I personally think it
might be air in the lines but if that
is the case, what is the cause.  
The other possible cause (in my
opinion) may be a the master
cylinder going out (possible seal
of some sort??) but I would
expect to see fluid loss. Any
ideas?  Thanks in advance!

3 Answers

If this car has rear drum brakes they may need to be checked and manually adjusted. If a brake check checks out most likely have a bad Master Cylinder.


You should tear apart your front and rear brakes and inspect them like Lastchance suggested. If you have rear drums, they shouldn't be out of adjustment, because they automatically adjust on their own. I would first take apart the front discs and make sure that the slides aren't rusted up. I would then take off the calipers and depress the piston with a large C-clamp. If you can't compress the piston, then you have a seized piston. If it compresses fully, have someone slowly push on the brake pedal to see if the brake piston moves outwards. If all functions properly, reassemble your front brakes. Now disassemble the rear drums. You will have to remove the rubber plug in the rear of the hub and loosen the star wheel. When you get the cover off, have someone slowly push on the brake pedal and see if your pistons are moving the shoes. You could have a seized rear piston. If pistons are moving properly, reassemble your rear brakes. If all brakes are functioning properly,with no leaky pistons, I would then try to bleed the system. If no air, I would then spend the money on a new master.

Best Answer

Thanks for the responses! As it turns out, it is the master.

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