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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a notice that my 2 year old 2.0 GT Tdi needed the Brake fluid changing.

Got it booked in and the job done, bu tnot too happy really.

I was always more than happy with the braking, but now the peddle feels soft. The symptoms are like there is air in the system, I have had it back to the dealers, who have re-bled the fluid, and then because I was still not happy, retested it and suggested a new master cyclinder. This has been swapped, but I still have a pedal that needs a further push than was required before the fluid change.

The courtesy Golf that I was given, was just like my Golf used to be.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this on their MK5, or any ideas where the fault may be. The dealer is adamant that the braking is within tolerance, agreed the car will stop, but the distance the peddle now needs to be pressed has increased markedly, and is very disconcerting especially when in stop/start traffic.

Please help......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They didn't put new brake pads in as well did they?
Nope, no new pads. Just a plain simple old Fluid change. Just sent my wife out in the car, for a 2nd opinion. She had not even got off the drive before she noticed the problem.

I am going to take it to another dealer to see what they think. It still feels to me as though the system has air in there somewhere, but they are positive there is not.... Does anyone know where the Brake master cyclinder is? can it be seen under the bonnet ?

Cheers
 

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I doubt this is going to help but check the cap is screwed on (mine wasn't for 1.5 years - thanks Ridgeway Reading - 60 quid lighter[8o|]).

Master cylinder is directly below the brake fluid resivior - prob not easy to see
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I doubt this is going to help but check the cap is screwed on (mine wasn't for 1.5 years - thanks Ridgeway Reading - 60 quid lighter[8o|]).

Master cylinder is directly below the brake fluid resivior - prob not easy to see
MMMmmm , You may be on to something here. I went and checked the cap, which seemed to be on tight enough. But, there was fluid all around the cap and ontop of the resevoir itself. Messy sods, thought I - Cleaned it all off, and went for a quick test drive. When I got back there was more fluid ?

It may be that the cap is leaking...... Should the resevoir for brake fluid be air/fluid tight i.e. if it was leaking through the cap, would that mean the system is not sealed? Giving the 'spongy' peal effect.
 

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I think it needs to be air tight to stop air getting to the fluid but I don't think the reservoir is pressurised (like the coolant system) - but the fact u tightened it up and its stil leaking doesn't sound good.
 

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I think it needs to be air tight to stop air getting to the fluid but I don't think the reservoir is pressurised (like the coolant system) - but the fact u tightened it up and its stil leaking doesn't sound good.
The tightness of the reservoir cap has got nothing whatsoever to do with the problems you're experiencing. The cap is there obviously to keep out dust and dirt and moisture and to contain the brake fluid level float mechanism, if that is the system used. It is not a pressurised vessel, at least not above the surface level of the brake fluid. The only pressurised parts, in the maste cyclinder, would be in the actual 'pistons' themselves in the body of the master cyclinder at the base of said unit.

Obviously if the thing has been overfilled, well, that is another problem, I would imagine.
 

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funnily enough I found the cap wasn't screwed on mine properly either. I had been driving around for 2 years. No wonder VW recommend a brake service every 2 years. Cheeky beggers!

I managed to get mine for free due to them messing me around on a service & warranty work.

But mine are alright. Might be worth taking the caliper off and having a good look at it & your pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well had another opinion form a seperate dealer. He agreed that the pedal felt 'long' and was perhaps 'spongy', but was still capable of passing a brake test. So now it is a battle of will between me and the original dealer. I am 100% sure that whatever went on on the fluid change has increased the distance required to press the pedal. It is still in my mind similar to a system that has moisture or air contamination.

I am now getting a little ticked off, and am currently waiting for a call back after they have spoken to the 'boss' at the dealership. They actually told me that this can sometimes happen when the fluid is replaced. Would be the first instance I have ever heard of a fluid change worsening the efiiciency of a braking system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well thats it really. The car went back again on Friday, and I get a call saying that they have now done all they can. The car still has the 'post fluid change' soft/long pedal problem, and I am told they cannot fix it. So I have been given my car back with a braking system that is inferior to the one that I had prior to the Brake fluid change.

I have now got VW customer services involved as I have been told that I cannot take it to another dealer because the original dealer started the work.

Not a happy bunny at the moment to say the very least. I think the only way forward is to get the car checked and fixed by someone else, and then present VW with the bill. I am trying to get hold of a brake specialist in the are - other than the Kwik-Fit crowd etc. but they seem to be elusive.

Again, I was told that the 2 year old Golf cannot be compared to a new car as far as braking is concerned, because of the age. I think this is complete BS, cars that I have driven upto 10 years old can expect to have perfect braking if looked after and maintained in the same way.
 

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Well, this has been a problem with the MkIV Golf and Iit seems to persist in MkV. If you search the MkIV brake forum you will find a lot of stories similar to yours but not a definite fix. I had the same problem in the past when I changed one of the rear calipers: having bled it using Gunson's Eezibleed, the brake pedal had the feel you describe. I spent hours bleeding everything, including the master cylinder, and I managed to get a slightly better pedal feel but still not perfect. I had to live with it and then, as I was using the car for sometime, the pedal feel was gradually restored. I suspect there were still some bubbles in the system which eventually found their way to the top of the resevoir.

Last week I changed the other real caliper (and rear disks and pads) and guess what, I have exactly the same symptoms. I will do a complete fluid change over the w/e as it is now time (3 years) and will bleed everything, including the master cylinder. But I will probably have to live with a slightly longer pedal travel and spongier feel for sometime until it hopefully recovers :-((
 

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Well, this has been a problem with the MkIV Golf and Iit seems to persist in MkV. If you search the MkIV brake forum you will find a lot of stories similar to yours but not a definite fix. I had the same problem in the past when I changed one of the rear calipers: having bled it using Gunson's Eezibleed, the brake pedal had the feel you describe. I spent hours bleeding everything, including the master cylinder, and I managed to get a slightly better pedal feel but still not perfect. I had to live with it and then, as I was using the car for sometime, the pedal feel was gradually restored. I suspect there were still some bubbles in the system which eventually found their way to the top of the resevoir.

Last week I changed the other real caliper (and rear disks and pads) and guess what, I have exactly the same symptoms. I will do a complete fluid change over the w/e as it is now time (3 years) and will bleed everything, including the master cylinder. But I will probably have to live with a slightly longer pedal travel and spongier feel for sometime until it hopefully recovers :-((
This just doesn't make sense, does it? Why do these anomalies apparently keep happening Golfs? I have lots of cars over 50 years of driving and have had services, involving brake fluid changes without any of this nonsense. In all cases, that I can remember, the brake system has felt the same or better than before the process.

All that should happen is that a temporary reservoir containing new fluid is put in place on top of the master cyclinder and then the new fluid is pumped through until, at each extremity of the car's wheels, the fresh brake fluid emerges. There shouldn't be air in the system if it's done properly, should there? It beggars belief, I am afraid to say.

I'm due to have mine done at my first variable service (2 years) in October!
 

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I would approach some VW tuning shops (AMD?) I've read so many times that they sort out various performance related problems as they only concentrate on performance improvement than regular servicing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would approach some VW tuning shops (AMD?) I've read so many times that they sort out various performance related problems as they only concentrate on performance improvement than regular servicing.
Thanks, I will try that. If it fixes the problem then I will get a claim against VW for the cost.
 

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I had the same problem after taking the rear beam off to change the bushes,, in the end we used a pressure bleeder to bleed the system through starting with the bleed nipples on the master cylinder itself.. Probably used about a gallon of the stuff until it came right
 

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My 2 year old 2.0 tdi is the same. Its been like yours is now since it was new. The dealer says they are ok. I can pump them up as I drive then when I stop the pedal feels good and sharp. The hand brake was over adjusted on mine this was adjusted so the levers were resting on the stops but made little difference. I think the problem lies with the abs. It needs to be bled using vag com.The dealer says he can not do this. There are posts on freds tdi site about this. Please post if you fix yours. At least you have had a couple of years of good brakes, I have had a few near misses and am thinking of a 1 series before I ram something.
 
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