April 15

2008 Ford Edge, Power Brakes

Ford

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Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. 25 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by the customers in Vancouver's Best Auto Service Experience. We are talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: 2008 Ford Edge had a brake issue. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So the owner had a complaint that the brakes didn't quite feel right and they were making a funny noise. And the noise was very interesting, actually something I'd never heard. But when you push the brake down especially when the pedal is like sort of halfway down, it would make this weird moaning, groaning kind of sound and I could also hear a hiss from the power brake booster. So I figured everything was kind of all related to that particular issue. But it was it was a very, very weird sound. Something I hadn't heard. 

So the brake pedal had a really funny feel to it. Sometimes the power was there. Sometimes it was gone. You put do one application, the power brakes were working. Another application they stopped. It was a little eerie, you know, driving the vehicle because you didn't know quite what to expect. I mean, it would stop, but you didn't really know how hard to push on it. 

Mark: So did you call Ghostbusters? 

Bernie: No, no, we solved it ourselves. We have ghost busting kind of equipment. So we were able to take care of it. 

Mark: So what testing and diagnosis did you have to do? 

Bernie: So of course a road test was the first thing and verified, yes, there's some strange stuff going on here. Then the second part of it was to do a full break inspection on the vehicle. And we looked it over and I mean, the only real issue we found with the actual brakes on the wheels was some quite severe rust on the inner sides of the front brake rotors, but the pads and everything were still in pretty good shape. 

So, I mean, it could have used a brake job, but really the bulk of the problem was a power brake booster issue. Which is fairly noticeable to identify. If you have brakes where, you know, you're losing your power and you have weird noises like that, and you can hear a hissing sound coming from the brake booster. The brake booster generally they use engine vacuum on most cars. So if there's a hissing sound, there's a vacuum leak and that's a blown brake booster. For experienced person working on cars, it's a pretty known diagnosis. 

Mark: So the brake booster amplifies the power of your foot against the pedal to operate the brakes essentially. Is that right? 

Bernie: That's exactly what it does. Yeah. Been a long time since I've been in a car with manual brakes. I mean, I used to own a 1970 Fargo van, full size van, one ton capacity, huge, enormous 12 inch drum brakes, and it had manual brakes. You have to push this thing so hard to stop it. It was actually scary. Like I could not lock the brakes up with my foot. Although I never failed to stop in any emergency, but it's funny that that kind of stuff just doesn't exist anymore. But way back when, you know, power brakes was actually an option. Now it's, you know, now it's never an option. 

So there's our 08 Edge.

2008 Ford Edge, Power Brakes

This is a photo looking under the hood. The battery has been removed. So this is we're looking at the right side of the engine compartment here. The battery and the battery tray has been removed. There's 2 arrows there. The red arrow points to the power break booster. So this is a big round item and it has a an enormous rubber diaphragm inside. And when you push the brake down, it actually pushes that diaphragm.

2008 Ford Edge, Power Brakes

And if you move your mouse point, well, it's not really the, square. Just actually go back a bit. And up. Yeah. Just up tiny bit from there. That area there is where the engine vacuum hose connects to the booster. And that's where the engine vacuum applies the vacuum. And so when you push on the brake pedal that causes extra force to be applied to the brake master cylinder. 

The brake master cylinder is that item that is pointed to with the orange arrow. So we actually chose to replace that at the same time as well, because. The way that it was acting, it could have well been a break master cylinder issue and everything had to be removed to do the process. It was really a matter of changing a part. Now it's not super cheap, but kind of made sense to do it all at the same time. 

So there's again, the view of the power brake booster. You get a better view there. That's with the master cylinder off and the booster shown. So that's basically our picture show. 

2008 Ford Edge, Power Brakes

A variety of things happen, but a lot of times the rubber diaphragm will tear and that's what causes the booster to fail. Generally a pretty reliable part, but there are, I think this is not the first Ford Edge we've done a master cylinder on. So on certain cars, they fail. I was even thinking maybe we've even done a previous podcast because we've done so many, sometimes I tend to forget. They do fail from time to time, but it's not the most common failure part on a vehicle.

Mark: A lot of work to get that off of the firewall and a lot of stuff in the way. Fairly expensive repair. 

Bernie: Yeah, fairly. Yeah. I mean we've done worse, but this one is pretty badly buried. I mean, usually to get them off from the inside, you know, you just climb under the dash and there's generally four bolts that attach it and you have to disconnect it from the brake pedal, but this one was particularly buried deep in the firewall. 

It's modern vehicle design with the cab forward design where they just sort of stuff the engine and everything further back into the cab. So it's nice design. Makes the hood short, and you know, it's just more money when you need to repair the car as opposed to the good old days when the hoods were, you know, five feet wide and five feet deep. 

Mark: And you could climb in. 

Bernie: Yeah. You can climb in. Yeah. No climbing in anymore. 

Mark: How were the brakes after the repair? 

Bernie: Yeah, they worked fine. No more strange noises and no more weird assists. Like it's consistent. And by the way, with power brakes, you know, because there's vacuum, there's a reserve in there. So there's a check valve, when the engine shut off or say the engine were to stall. You're usually good for about two applications of the brakes with power. And then, then it kind of loses the power boost.

So yeah, anyways, that's kind of how power brakes normally work. And I guess if you were to apply it over and over and over again, you know, you might actually start losing the boost, but that would take an awful lot. 

Mark: So this Ford Edge is about 16 years old now. How reliable are they?

Bernie: They're pretty good. You know, I mean, this vehicle is sort of look at my notes, it was about a 190 Ks on this vehicle. So pretty good, really. It doesn't really have any other problems. So yeah, I think they're a pretty decent vehicle overall. Few issues like everything, but yeah, it's not bad. 

Mark: So if you're looking for repairs for your Ford product, Who are you gonna call? Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Ghostbusters . You can reach them online at pawlikautomotive.com. Yes, they'll find those moaning and groanings and take care of it. Exercise the beasts and fix it all up. Get to the root of the problem and fix it. Or you can call 'em at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. Online or by phone, you have to book ahead. They're always busy. There's a lot of ghosts out there. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Thanks for watching and listening. Thanks, Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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