I recently got in a car accident because my brakes failed to work. It felt as if when I pressed them, they had slipped. I tested the brakes after-the-fact to see what the problem was, and this problem happened 2/5 times I pressed the brakes. The other 3 times they worked fine. It's not my pads or rotors, because I just changed those. What is going on here?

It's a 2005 Hyundai Accent.

  • 1
    What did you feel and what did the car do when the brakes "didn't work" ? – JPhi1618 Feb 22 '16 at 14:40
  • when they do work, there is more resistance the more I press.. When they didn't, there was not much resistance until I couldn't press anymore.. Almost like I was pressing nothing. – Mena Labib Feb 22 '16 at 14:42
  • Have you checked the brake fluid level? Was everything properly bled after changing the pads? – JPhi1618 Feb 22 '16 at 14:43
  • What is the year/make/model of the car? Is it equipped with anti-lock brakes? Traction Control? When was the last time the brake fluid was flushed? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 22 '16 at 14:45
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    Is this most likely a brake-fluid problem? – Mena Labib Feb 22 '16 at 14:50

The most common cause of intermittent brake failure is a faulty master cylinder. The master cylinder is similar to a bicycle pump. It moves brake fluid instead of air. Stepping on the brake pedal moves a rod that pushes brake fluid to the wheels. If a seal is failing it may allow brake fluid to seep by it reducing the fluid pressure to the wheels. As an aside if you have it replaced you may be able shift the blame to mechanical failure instead of operator error. It may help avoid a insurance increase or traffic citation.

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