Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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Old 02-09-2006, 10:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
Maim Menu
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Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry

'98 Camry automatic, approaching 260 000kms

I live in Quebec so -20-25 temperatures aren't uncommon. When it's
really cold outside :

1.The brake light stays on for a period (Apparently until the car heats
up a bit) but will regularly pop back on when doing hard turns or
pumping the brake pedal. I took off the cap to check on the fluid and
it's all good.

The brake pedal resistance also changes very often, sometimes I have to
squeeze the pedal almost to the floor to stop the car, some other times
the pedal stays up...I really don't know so I took the car for an
alignement, not thinking that it will solve the problem but I would
hate to take an unaligned car to a garage to check on the brakes.

2.Steering is also pretty f**kin hard when it's around -20 in the
morning and the car has been sleeping in the driveway all night. I had
the fluid flused out but it didn't do crap. the mechanic told me if it
didn't work I'd have to change my universal joint!? I don't believe
him. Should I have the guy replace/ajust the power steering belt even
if it doesn't look worn at all?

I had that problem even this summer. Steering was hard but for example
if I stopped at a convenience store to buy a pack of smokes or a case
of beer, stepped back in and started the car the steering would be FINE
for about 10 minutes then would start being hard again. This winter
though this has been worse than ever.

Give me some advice or speculate on my case, please.

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
Rob
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry

1. I think you need a new brake master cylinder...quickly!
Have a competent mechanic check it first. Why do an
alignment when you have a brake problem?????
2. It should not be hard to steer..Universal Joint? Find a real
mechanic. I think a loose belt would make noise check it
yourself...You may need a new steering pump too.
Your dealing with two critical items here loss of braking and
loss of steering possibly get them fixed before you have a
much bigger problem.

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Old 02-09-2006, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
Maim Menu
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry

Alignment because the pedal pulsates like the car's gonna fall apart
when I brake for highway exits for example. I forgot to mention it,
sorry. It didn't solve the problem anyway, the ride is just a bit
smoother, basically worth 50$.

I got back from another mechanic to have a look and I'm gonna do a
complete brake job before putting any money on a master cylinder. As
for the steering there is NO noise whatsoever coming from that car. The
guy said my left strut bearing is starting to jam against whatever
metal pipe goes through it, but that he's not gonna do anything before
we try changing pump/belt first. He said the universal joint would make
the steering hard all the time and is not influenced whatsoever by the
weather.

Thanks for your input, if anybody else want to add two cents go right
ahead, I might end up with a dollar!

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Old 02-10-2006, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
Jason James
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry


"Maim Menu" <corner_cut@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1139533880.688983.81870@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...[color=blue]
> Alignment because the pedal pulsates like the car's gonna fall apart
> when I brake for highway exits for example. I forgot to mention it,
> sorry. It didn't solve the problem anyway, the ride is just a bit
> smoother, basically worth 50$.[/color]

Pulsating pedal means either warped brake-rotors (or disks) or some bad wear
in the front steering/suspension which is going into oscillation on braking.
More likely to be the former tho.

Bdly warped rotors can actually push the caliper-piston back into its bore
as the 'high' side of the warp pushes past,..this has the effect of lowering
pedal height intermittantly, but nor making it spongey. What happens is, the
piston which is behind the brake pad is no longer running an interferance
clearance against the rotor,..so when the brakes are applied, some pedal
heigt is consumed taking up this gap.


However, the master-cylinder is a high contender for this fault as well:
Master-cylinders which change pedal height all the time, need reconditioning
or replacing. Ballooning flexible brake-hoses can cause this, but once soft,
stay that way every application of brakes.

If the rear drums have at one stage been turned on a lathe to remove heavy
scoring and the shoes are now the wrong radius,..soft springy brakes can be
the result.

If the front seal is worn in the MC, there will be oil leaking down the
front of the booster,..a slow loss of fluid and air continually getting into
the hydraulics causing a soft pedal..


[color=blue]
> I got back from another mechanic to have a look and I'm gonna do a
> complete brake job before putting any money on a master cylinder. As
> for the steering there is NO noise whatsoever coming from that car. The
> guy said my left strut bearing is starting to jam against whatever
> metal pipe goes through it,[/color]

If the strut ram is loose in its bush, it can make the car's frontend
unstable and cause uneven wear on its tire. It also can cause the road-wheel
to tilt slightly (goes positive
camber) on corners where its on the inside, causing oversteer.



but that he's not gonna do anything before[color=blue]
> we try changing pump/belt first. He said the universal joint would make
> the steering hard all the time and is not influenced whatsoever by the
> weather.[/color]

Those little uni-joints do go tight in some cars (Nissan Pulsar is one),
and its possible cold weather could cause it to loosen-up or get tighter.

Your car needs sorting out properly, especially if you drive it on freeways
or long trips. Those brake symptoms are indicative of serious problems.

Jason
[color=blue]
> Thanks for your input, if anybody else want to add two cents go right
> ahead, I might end up with a dollar!
>[/color]



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Old 02-10-2006, 04:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
Maim Menu
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry

Thanks Jason. I'll see what the complete brake job does, then I'll take
care of the steering issue.

Thanks again

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Old 02-18-2006, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
Maim Menu
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry

They did a complete brake job up front and changed a couple rubber
seals and rings that are cheap before attempting more serious work on
the steering and suspension and it seemed to have solved a part of the
steering problem after 2-3 days of driving. The steering is still a bit
hard but doesn't freeze up in cold mornings anymore.

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Old 02-19-2006, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
allan
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's cold outside '98 Camry

I had a loose belt , tightening it fixed the hard steering.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Re: Brake warning light on and hard steering when it's coldoutside...

What fluid is is recomended for your power steering, 89-91 are
Transmission fluid, the cap on the resivour should state what is needed.
Replacing most of the fluid is easy , just use a turkey baister. I put
in Mobil synthetic Transmission fluid and it helped, Maybe you have the
wrong type, a loose belt may also make it harder to steer.
You probably need a new master cilinder for your brakes, the shaking
was warped rotors.

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