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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

96 Ford Windstar, No Brakes
Q: I have a ‘96 Ford Windstar. We installed new calipers, rotors, brake pads and a master cylinder, (without traction control but does have Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS). None of the brake warning lights are on to indicate a problem with the Anti-Lock Brakes. The problem is that the van will not stop. What can be the problem?..... Desperate.

A: Was your brake problem present before or did it occur after the brake work was performed? My first impression is the possibility of air in the hydraulic brake system. Vehicles equipped with ABS require a specific procedure to properly bleed the air from the brake system. Air in the system will cause a very low and spongy brake pedal. Also something as simple as the need for rear brake adjustment can create a complaint such as yours. The braking systems on many of today’s vehicles are what is called a diagonal system. This means that the right rear brake and the left front share the same hydraulic line while the left rear and the right front share the other. If the rear brakes are too far out of adjustment the affect will be a very low brake and poor stopping ability. I’ve seen vehicles that have received a replacement master cylinder, when the only problem was incorrectly adjusted rear brakes.
   If you’re sure the brake work and bleeding of the hydraulic brake system has been performed correctly then the ABS does come into question. The valving inside an ABS unit can leak internally presenting a brake pedal problem that is often confused with a faulty master cylinder. To diagnose this condition requires isolating the ABS system to check for internal leakage.
   With the complexity of today’s vehicle’s you may want to have your brake problem checked out by a technician who has a thorough understanding of today’s braking systems.

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