Recently purchased a 97 t bird and brakes went to floor but had the front drivers side lock up under a emergency stop. I add fluid but see no leaks so it's got to be going somewhere but was thinking brake booster or master cylinder. I read that when a booster goes bad it's the opposite, the pedal is hard to press. And recommendations?

  • Does the steering wheel pull to one side when you break? Also you said you add fluid, is the fluid going down or did you just add it once?
    – vini_i
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


If you do not have ABS Brakes, the brakes will lock up when you make an unexpected sharp stop. But it sounds like there is not enough pressure (or vacuum) being made. Since the brakes go to the floor when making a stop and you know that there is not fluid leaking, that means that either the problem is the master cylinder, or the power brake booster. The brake booster uses vacuum pressure to amplify the pressure put on the brakes. If the booster is bad, than the full amount of force to needed to activate the master cylinder and pressurize the brake fluid will not be there. Hope this helps


POWER BRAKE BOOSTER- with out a doubt. You just might have a hole in the Diaphragm of the Power Brake Booster. Turn the car on and press the brake pedal down to the floor and hold it--- if it goes to floor within 15 seconds or less--, and if you hear a HAUGHT sound when releasing the pedal,-- it's a good chance you need a Brake Booster. When one of your brakes lock up you can temporarily release the stuck caliper / Brake by loosening / Bleeding the brake fluid line that leads to that particular wheel. You can loosen the Bleeder valve on the Brake Caliper or Brake Piston (on older vehicles) to allow the Caliper or Brake Piston to open and release. You may hear a slight clicking noise when doing this; it is the sound of the piston moving away from the rotor. Just wait till it stops clicking or at least 15 seconds and close the Bleeder valve. You should be able to turn the wheel now. You can also loosen the line-nut, located on the Fluid Compression Box. Just look for a box under the hood that looks like it has spider legs (tubing), one of the lines attached to this box is also connected directly to your specific wheel so you can actually do this from under the hood. Just crack the fluid line-nut and let it purge for about 15 seconds and close the line. Check your Brake Fluid / top it off and That's it but don't bother with topping off the fluid until you've replaced the Power Brake Booster First !!

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