2001 Camry Brake pedal goes to floor. Normal? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (19921996 & 19972001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2001 Camry Brake pedal goes to floor. Normal?

I just got a 2001 Camry ce and I took it to a safety test and it failed.
Reason: brake pedal to low and E-brake to loose. So I took it to mechanic to get it fixed. They said brakes are fine so they bled the brakes, adjusted the E-brake and checked brake pedal and found nothing wrong with it. So I took it back for a safety test and FAILED again. Reason: low brake pedal. So I asked them to show me because it brakes fine as soon as I brake. He pressed brake pedal almost all the way down, turned the ignition on while still pressing firmly on brake pedal and when he did that the brake pedal sunk even lower. He then said " you see that is not normal". "At high speed if you need to brake hard, you may not have enough distance to stop" I then replied it stops fine.
Is this normal on camry's? Any info is appreciated.
Note :I also have ABS

Last edited by fabii; 09-08-2012 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Isn't it great that you have that kind of safety inspection? It keeps you and others on the road safe.

But no, a low pedal is NOT normal. You will NOT have the necessary reserve with a low pedal. The last brake shop is probably not "good enough".

Do you feel brake action almost immediately when you step on the pedal? Or do you feel it start to act when 1/2 way down?

Assuming the shop properly adjusted the brakes (another cause of low pedals), if the brake action happens almost immediately (even if weak) then double check for air in the system (you probably need the dealer to activate the ABS). If the latter you may need a new master cylinder.

I'd take it in to the dealer and have them go over it while asking them to purge the ABS system and flush the brake fluid again. In the US it's less than $100 USD.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGD View Post
Isn't it great that you have that kind of safety inspection? It keeps you and others on the road safe.

But no, a low pedal is NOT normal. You will NOT have the necessary reserve with a low pedal. The last brake shop is probably not "good enough".

Do you feel brake action almost immediately when you step on the pedal? Or do you feel it start to act when 1/2 way down?

Assuming the shop properly adjusted the brakes (another cause of low pedals), if the brake action happens almost immediately (even if weak) then double check for air in the system (you probably need the dealer to activate the ABS). If the latter you may need a new master cylinder.

I'd take it in to the dealer and have them go over it while asking them to purge the ABS system and flush the brake fluid again. In the US it's less than $100 USD.
Thank you for the quick reply.
I would say 1/2 way down.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I respectfully have to submit a different opinion. I happen to own an '01 Camry as well as an '04. They do the same thing. I even changed the master cylinder on the '01. What I'm told is that it's part of the ABS programming or whatever. Basically once the car is stopped as sensed by the wheel sensors then the brake pedal can be pushed down nearly to the floor because the ABS prevents overloading of system pressure. Guess it bypasses any extra fluid pressure beyond what's needed to keep the car from moving. This isn't meant to be a scientific or accurate explanation of what's going on but just an uncomplicated way to explain what's happening. Now, perhaps all of this is incorrect and several techs and mechanics were all mistaken but I can tell you the car is still driving and stopping fine over a year after changing the master cylinder and it still goes down very close to the floor after coming to a complete stop. Note that on mine, the pedal DOESN'T go down that far until AFTER the car is totally stopped. Only then does the pedal begin sinking to the floor if pressed hard enough.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If this has drum brakes on the rear, ensure the shoes are adjusted out.

There is a star wheel for this.

Your brake pedal should be firm from the initial tap.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dave where did you find out about the abs kicking inandallowing the pedal tomive lower even further
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had the same problem with my 01. I have rear drums. I adjusted them by turning the star screw inside and now the brakes are fine. They don't even go half way to the floor. They have a solid feel. Try doing this if you have rear drums. This also helped the ebrake.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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where isit located exactly?
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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wheres the star screw located exact;y?
can this be done without mounting the car?
a jack good enough?
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with Dave. The brake pedal on my 1998 Camry travels lower when I start the engine and when sitting for a little while at a stoplight; my Haynes repair manual says this is normal for 97-01 Camrys. I did have a problem once where the pedal would travel so low that the brakes would give out and the car would start rolling forward while I was sitting at a stoplight; it turned out to be an internal leak in the master cylinder. (It was not leaking fluid anywhere I could see; my local mechanic made this diagnosis.) After replacing the MC, the pedal still travels lower when starting the engine or sitting at a light, but it does not bottom out like it did before. That's my $0.02; I hope it helps.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My wife complained about the brake pedal going down too far. First thing I did was replace and adjust the rear shoes as they were getting worn down. It bothered me how far the pedal sank with the car stopped so I took it to a mechanic friend to help bench bleed the new master cylinder and flush the system. It really didn't make a difference so he called a Toyota tech friend who asked around the shop to confirm that was the design. We also checked some other cars including a couple of Honda's. All with ABS and most did the same thing. Some took more pressure than my Camry but they still went down with enough force. Older cars without ABS don't do this, you just put a whole lot of pressure on all of the seals, hoses, etc.
I didn't have him press the tech for a detailed explanation of exactly how the ABS does this. He just said it was designed that way to keep the system from being over-pressurized.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Since its a CE, I'm assuming rear drums.

Power assist(vacuum) will cause the pedal to drop when you start the car. That same assist will cause the pedal to react when something as simple as the A/C cycles. Its no big deal.

If the inspection shop has an issue, they need to put it in writing with the "measurements" as why you're failing and what "measurement" is required. They can't just say, "the pedal sank". That is what power(vacuum) assisted brakes do by making it easier to press the pedal. Dumb owners drive with a death grip on the brake pedal. Once stopped, how much pressure do you really need to keep from rolling forward?

As always, if you have drum brakes, you need to ADJUST THEM. Too much slack in the shoe to drum clearance will sink a pedal quick. Neutral-Site hit the nail on the head.

If you have any air in the lines, you need to bleed. With ABS, you either need to trigger ABS while bleeding, or bleed then test ride triggering ABS and bleeding again after test ride. Bleed your brakes.

Incorrectly adjusting E-brakes can cause preload on your drum brakes, which will increase wear on the brakes, and cause more temperature variances(pedal feels different when warm or cold out). I find that most mechanics will crank on the e-brake slack adjuster to make up for 'other brake issues', like the simple shoe:drum adjustment mentioned by Neutral-Site.

If you can't stop your car, you have a brake problem. If you can't trigger the ABS on dry pavement, you have a brake problem. If your pedal is to the floor and you begin to role forward, you have a brake problem. Everything else is bleed and adjust!
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