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I have an 06 MAzda 3 .. problem: After ABS engages, brakes go soft, and travel much further (75%) to the floor before stopping.THey do function well just way to low to the floor. This was not always the case and just started occurring. I found a Ford Fusion thread that owners complained of the same thing making me wonder if this might be an ABS industry wide failure issue. Note: my brakes work perfectly 10 - 20 minutes after this issue occurs. Restarting the car does not appear to "reset" anything. I'm pretty sure this problem has nothing to do with seating new pads as was suggested on other sites. I wondering if the ABS on my car has a secondary reservoir that might have gotten air in it as the main reservoir is full and brakes operate normally on any given non-ABS day .

I've also noted in researching this that those with similar problem have had mechanics rebuild their brakes w. pads and rotors and in some cases master cylinders and power boosters without success.Before I start spending a lot of $$ on un-needed repairs I am hoping that someone has seen this specific problem and actually has solved it. In my searches I have found no solutions that address this specific problem with a specific answer.

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4 Answers

There is not an industry wide problem with ABS brakes. The one problem that does arise is when an ABS system is 'opened' for any reason. Air can and will get into the system. The best way to bleed ABS brakes is with a pressure bleeder and a bi-directional scanner so that the ABS pump can be operated.This ensures the system accumalators are all bleed fully by operating the pump during the bleed process. On some models not only is this the correct way to bleed ABS brakes but it is also the only way to do the job. A simple check that can be carried out is to check the brake fluid condition with a refractor test to ensure the fluid is not contaminated. When the ABS is activated by hard braking the pedal should go hard and you will feel a strong vibration through your foot.

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**is there a speed that this happens at? Say below 10mph? I had a problem with my GM astrovan ABS ,The ABS on the vehicle used 2 different sensors for braking, above approx 10 mph had a sensor and below had another sensor. I was coming off a highway exit ramp, braked from 55 to 15mph no problem and as i was approaching the stop sign, brakes ceased to work, i cannot remember if they went soft or not, had another under 10mph stop at driveway through a sidewalk , again i pressed as hard as i could and nothing. Luckily no pedestrians or traffic either place. i researched it in a astrovan forum that was excellent, and found out about the 2 sensors and the problem was brake dust would get on the low speed sensor, i think it was 8mph and under. I forget how to explain it but the blocking of the sensor gave a false reading to the ABS computer and no brakesnas it saw the wheel rotation giving a condition that told the computer to release the brakes. I pulled the fuse out that controlled the ABS, that solved the problem, but it may have cut out the speedomitor also, i researcheed more and was able to cut the ABS and put the fuse back in. The no brakes , car wouldnt stop is very true, i discounted myself until it happend to me, If the ABS system still use multiple sensors, and they are not self cleaning,, or a wire is broken, that will also give the computer incorrect readinng on the wheel rotation. This may be a start on trouble shooting this.

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Issue may be in brake fluid: it gets too much water from the air, and when you brake on highway brake cylinders get hot and water in brake fluid start to vaporise, creating gas bubbles in fluid, so you need to apply additional force on the pedal to compress it. According to common maintenance guides, brake fluid needs to be changed every two or three years. Change it (about 1 litre total), inspect pads, rotors and cylinders and test brakes again.

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Problem is that the ABS system needs to be reset. Find an empty parking lot, gun it, then slam on the brakes initiating ABS. Do this 3-4 times and your problem will be fixed. I just saved you over $1,000 in unnecessary repairs. You're welcome.

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