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Thread: Brakes... Mine are terrifying!

  
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    johnwharrison's Avatar
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    Brakes... Mine are terrifying!

    I test drove the R-reg MK4 astra (1.6 16v) I am buying yesterday.... and the brakes are shocking!

    It does not have ABS, and I had to virtually stand up on the pedal to skid the car ( I had to do this as the dealer was not sure if it had ABS or not...)

    Is this normal?!?!?

    if not what is my easiest way of improving this, (excluding brembos etc)

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    something wrong in the breaks there if it donst have abs then they tend to snatch and skid easy

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    It may have had new discs and pads and they are not bedded in properly.

    Or if the car has been standing for a while, then they could be rusty etc.
    Now drives : 2002 Astra SRi Turbo in Black
    PREVIOUS ASTRA'S : 1990 GTE 2.0 8v | 1993 1.4 GLS | 1994 1.6 Cesaro | 1995 1.8 16v Sport

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    When was the fluid changed last??
    Has any work been done on them recently, and is there air in the system??

    The last thing you want do do is lock the wheels as this is not optimum braking, braking should be progressive and smooth. Once locked, you car is no longer under your control. I fail to see why you need to induce a wheel lock?

    From your description, it sounds as if the brakes are ok, as if should be difficult skid on braking under good conditions - the important bit is how quickly it stops and that it remains under your control whilst doing so. if they did 'snatch and skid easily' I'd be vert worried indeed.

    I've had my MK4 for almost a year and I think I've only got the ABS to cut in once.

    Your gonna hand money over for this car - if you ain't happy get the dealer to sort it before you pay - simple as, really.

    All the best

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    I was locking the wheels to verify the existance of ABS as the dealer was unsure (The salasman I had was a real dumbass... it was supposedly a 2 litre, until I told him they werent out in the reg year of this car... its actualy a 1.6 16v... I had to check on the net as the guys boss wasnt in...)\


    Anyway, thanks for your help guys, but ffoeg, when I say difficult to skid I mean generally the brakes feel unresponsive, and I really need all of my strength and weight to get full braking even without inducing a lockup... (and I am not exactly a small chap)

    in an emergency stop in its current state, my fiance simply wouldnt be able to stop the car quickly (being 5'2) I dont wanna consider the consequences. :shock:


    I'll start a seperate thread with an engine query I have.

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    re: Brakes... Mine are terrifying!

    Brakes sound like they aren't working correctly. Due to its age and the engine size its very unlikely it will have ABS. Its probably got discs and drums, you should be able to lock the wheels up without any undue pressure on the pedal, if your standing on them the brakes aren't working, there's air in the system, the master cylinder is leaking or they are badly adjusted, either by having no pads left or thin discs or ovalled drums or just plain out of adjustment.

    No way would I buy the car like you describe. Either get them to fix the problem until your happy with the brakes or walk away. Have a look around for a 1.8 as a lot of these were fitted with ABS and have 4 discs, if you see 4 discs its probably got ABS. Insurance isn't too much more for a 1.8 and they don't seem to have the oil burning problem of the 1.6 16v.

    Hope you end up getting an Astra and its all that you expect. Love mine can't praise it enough.
    52 Astra G 1.8, 18" Mille Miglia alloys, 325mm Brembo 4 pot conversion, Coupe leather interior, Raid strut brace, Whiteline rear ARB, Irmscher bits (skirts, Carbon steering wheel, Bonnet extension, M3 mirrors, boot & roof spoiler), Reiger Rear Diffuser & Front Bumper, Koni Adj. dampers, 35/30 Vogtland springs, Duplex quad exit ASCAR stainless exhaust.

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    Re: re: Brakes... Mine are terrifying!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddjob
    Brakes sound like they aren't working correctly. Due to its age and the engine size its very unlikely it will have ABS. Its probably got discs and drums, you should be able to lock the wheels up without any undue pressure on the pedal, if your standing on them the brakes aren't working, there's air in the system, the master cylinder is leaking or they are badly adjusted, either by having no pads left or thin discs or ovalled drums or just plain out of adjustment.

    No way would I buy the car like you describe. Either get them to fix the problem until your happy with the brakes or walk away. Have a look around for a 1.8 as a lot of these were fitted with ABS and have 4 discs, if you see 4 discs its probably got ABS. Insurance isn't too much more for a 1.8 and they don't seem to have the oil burning problem of the 1.6 16v.

    Hope you end up getting an Astra and its all that you expect. Love mine can't praise it enough.
    I just got back in and read the above - extremely sound advice and pretty much as my reply would have been.

    Get them to sort it or look eslewhere.

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    if you are having these doubts even b4 you have bought the car then just walk away there plenty more astra's about
    Balck Astra K Elite 1.4 Turbo

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    Alright mate,

    How fast was you travelling before you managed to lock the wheels?

    Did they make any kind of noise?

    Also everyone, what would the brakes sound like if after 30 minutes of town driving, and hot gas was getting in to the system from the calipers?
    - Astra G - 1.6 16v - SXi - Star Silver -

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    re: Brakes... Mine are terrifying!

    I think a lot of this is down to what you're expecting from the brakes. I have a 1.6 16v SXi without ABS & with drums on the back. There's nothing wrong with them, but I wouldn't describe them as shit hot if you get what i mean. I'm now running Mintex pads on the front & these have improved it, but they are still less effective than my old mk3 astra running discs & drums, with ferrodo pads. The mk4 is a bigger, heavier car so clearly harder to stop. But if you are genuine in what you say, about having to really stamp on them, then I agree, stay clear!

    Out of curiousity, has anyone here done the disc conversion to the rear (4-stud) and if so, do you think it's worth it, does it make any difference?? I Would also be looking at upgrading front discs/pads at a similar time to doing conversion.
    Astra G 1.6 16v SXi

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