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Brake pressure loss

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 9:28 am
Year and Model: 850 GLT 93
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Brake pressure loss

Post by kekvh » Tue May 26, 2020 9:37 am

Hi everybody,

I am new here on the forum, i own a 93 850 GLT
Bought the car a while ago and it has not let me down so far.
I will introduce myself later in a different topic.

Until last weekend.
I drove with the car and nothing seemed to be wrong.
Stopped the car for a minute or 5 at a open bridge and started it again. While i pulled up and traffic was moving slowly i needed to brake slightly i felt my brake paddle getting weak and i could push it down with ease.
The car seemed to be only braking on the rear wheels slightly.
This scared the living crap out off me because i was on the highway.
Stopped straight away at the gas station and needed to press down hard on the paddle to get any feeling of stopping.
While the car was stationary i pressed the brake paddle a few times the pressure came back.
So i drove back home and maintained distance and braked a few times.
The brakes were working fine again????
Anyone has any idea off what this could be?

Hope you guys can help me out!
Thanks in advance

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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:09 pm
Year and Model: '97 850 2.5 20v
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Re: Brake pressure loss

Post by misha » Tue May 26, 2020 11:45 am

Was brake light on during this?
Check for leaks and check brake fluid level.
It could be that master brake cylinder is failing if there are no leaks and brake fluid is at proper level.
'97 850 2.5 20v / fully equipped / Motronic 4.4 from the factory / upgraded with S,V,C,XC70 instrument cluster / polar white wagon
'91 Citroen XM 2.0 SI /fully equipped/mandarine red metallic
History of Volvos in the family:
'71 144 S
'73 144 De Luxe
'78 244 DL
'78 244 DL
'79 244 GLE
'85 340 GLS

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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:46 pm
Year and Model: 2000 V70 R
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Re: Brake pressure loss

Post by scot850 » Tue May 26, 2020 3:51 pm

+1 to what Misha says. The master cyliner is not always obvious. I had one that leaked internally into the brake booster/servo body. I only knew because my nose picked up on the brake fluid smell and I could not find any leaks in the cabin area.

With a vehicle that age, when were the flexible pipes last replaced or any of the caliper seals?

If you have no obvious fluid loss in the master cylinder then the seals could be going and yo have had an advance warning.

2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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