Chevy Camaro manual transmissions brakes not working sometimes?

10

Asked by Jun 24, 2013 at 03:18 AM about the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT Convertible RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi,I just bought a new chevy camaro convertible with manual transmission. Yesterday
night I took it for ride and I was taking it outside my garrage. There is steep slope
which I was climbing slowly. I am not comfortable with manual transmissions as of
now and it was stalling again and again. Finally somehow I made the climb but
suddenly i noticed that my brakes were not working and I hit the wall in front @3/4
mph. So no major damage but I do not understand as why the brakes did not work? I
remember that I was pressing the brakes and clutch but it was not working.Its still a
mystery and I have given my car to dealership for investigation but everyone is saying
the brakes are fine and there is no issue. Infact just after this incident I called another
person and he was able to drive my camaro absolutely fine.I need an expert
suggestion here to know the root cause?Does brakes stop working if the car stalls in
first gear or something?

19 Answers

3,670

Not to sound rude, but you shouldnt have bought a brand new Camaro with a manual trans if you dont know how to drive a car with a manual. Practice on someones old beater until youre comfortable so youre not putting yourself or other people at risk. To answer your question, when the engine stalls, regardless of how your vehicle gets its power brakes (vaccum, hyrdoboost, electronic), you lose power brakes, and the brake pedal will get VERY firm and hard to apply. You really have to lay on it to apply the brakes.

10

Hi Michael, I never said that I do not know how to drive a manual, its just that am not comfortable with manuals on uphill and I am taking classes to improve that but in any case I would surely take your suggestion and I have been taking lessons and practicing during off hours in open areas. Anyway I have taken manual transmission classes to get more comfortable but I just want to understand as what happened that night. Its a natural relex that if brakes are not working anyone would press the brakes with all his might and so did I but still the car was moving ahead although very slowly. Also, I tried to reverse the car after that to take it back to garage and again the brakes were not working and I had to use the hand brakes. I tried this 2 more times before giving up and calling the dealership.

3,670

how did the pedal feel when this happened? was it rock hard or did it go to the floor?

10

I think it was not going to the floor but i had pressed really hard.. i mean really and a lot many times. Another thing, once I press on the clutch the brake goes to the floor making a whoosh sound. But I think this is normal with hydraulic brakes?

3,670

no thats definitely not normal.

10

Oh is it? I would tell this to my dealer now who are investigating this issue right now. I won't take back the car unless I find the root cause. But when I asked the guy who had come to tow my car that is this whoosh sound normal he said it seems normal to him since these are hydraulic brakes.

3,670

No, you really should hear the brake fluid. You cant usually hear the vacuum escaping the booster on the first pump of the brakes after the engine has been turned off. At any rate, the pedal should never ever go down to the floor.

10

So here is the thing which was happening. 1. When the engine was off the break was pretty tight which is normal I think. 2. when I was turning the engine on , i was able to press the break full after pressing the cluth and the breaks were making a whooosh sound as of releasing air pressure as it happens in big vehicles like trucks etc when you release the breaks? Now which one is normal and which one is not? My dealer is saying that there is nothing wrong and he has checked already. I am going to talk to him in person tomorrow.

19,805

My first thought was if your engine died, you needed to push hard on the brakes for them to work. Same as the power steering if goes out, you can turn, but it takes a lot of effort to do it. If you were unfamiliar with the new car, could you have pushed on the clutch with your right and left foot thinking you were on both peddles? Go to an empty parking lot, drive 5 mph and with a lot of room in front, turn off the car and apply the brakes to see how it acts and feels. Do it again and move your right foot over and see if you do indeed hit the clutch and not the brake with your feet and see how that feels. Have the mechanic check for a lose vacuum line or one with a leak in it. I have not heard of a "whoosh" when engaging vacuum brakes. If it is a new car, demand a full check of the system.

10

Thanks for the advice. I would surely follow that this weekend. Meanwhile I have already given my car to dealership and as per them there is no issue with the breaks and the whoosh sound releasing from vacuum breaks is normal

8,545

whoosh!!! that is not normal, mine never does it.

10

So basically I got my car back from dealership after getting it examined. as per them its absolutely fine. I have another question about hand brake. So I stopped on a uphill with my engine on and applied the hand brakes (pulled up 100%) but when I was leaving the brakes the car was moving backwards down the slope. I have been reading about the hand brakes and they are supposed to stop the vehicle even at slopes. the slope which I am talking about is around 30 degrees or less. Is this acceptable?

8,545

it can.. it is all how u power up the car and let off the hand brake. i tended to power up before releasing the hand brake so that it does not slip back.. especially driving in the SF bayarea.

10

What do you mean by powerup here? I might sound silly but can you please elaborate. It would be really helpful to me.

8,545

apply clutch.. shift to 1st.. let out clutch(slowly & feel the engagement).. little gas pedal.. then remove parking brake.. ...it is all by quick coordination.

3,670

Im pretty sure he meant the parking brake wasnt holding the vehicles position on a hill.

19,805

Michael, read his question. He stalled his car, so he had to push really hard on the breaks to work. Until he learns to put it in a low gear or reverse, and let the clutch out out to assist him in stopping, he will still have his little miss haps. He later questioned the parking break, as we all should know, does not help much at all.

10

Michael, Yes the parking brakes were not holding the car uphill and it was slowly coming down.. I tested again and this time I pulled the brakes up with all the strength and it was able to hold. So I think it was my mistake that I was not pulling it up fully. Califcarson, You are right. I might have stalled the car and hence the brakes stopped working and required a lot of erffort.

1 people found this helpful.
19,805

Thanks, a standard tranny is a lot of fun. Enjoy the ride.

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