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I was driving my girlfriends Ford Fiesta last week and it started to experience brake fade.

It always happened after driving the car at higher speeds over 100kmh (60 MPH). The brake pedal became spongy and there was a diminished braking effect. I noticed the left rear wheel heating up, so I guess the left rear brake is not releasing completely.

After reducing traveling speeds, driving at around 70kmh (around 40MPH), brakes become responsive again and sponginess went away.

This leads me to think that the left rear brake is scraping and at higher speeds causing heat to build up which boils the braking fluid. So I scheduled the car for brake fluid replacement and a brake inspection to determine why the brakes are scraping.

The guys at garage saw the rear braking cable was damaged and said that the braking issues came from the brake cable. I am not saying braking cable couldn't cause this problem, but I doubt it, and they haven't opened the drums to see why the shoes don't fully release.

I asked them to just replace the brake fluid and see how that works but they refused. They said that I either replace the brake cable or go elsewhere.

Was I right, or wrong? I think they want to fool me and I don't have money for repairs that are not completely needed.

I still think its suspicious as the high temp was causing the fading and it wasn't something permanent like a broken brake cable.

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    I would stop driving the car and find a different garage as brake problems can cause serious problems if they do not work. – George Mar 9 '16 at 23:11
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Based on what you have posted, changing the brake fluid is not going to solve the problem. It's just going to provide a clean new fluid to boil when your brakes stick. If I read what you said correctly the guys at the garage are telling you that the brake cable (likely the emergency brake cable) on the rear is what's causing the rear brakes to stick. They may be stuck all the time but you only notice the problem at higher speeds because the effect is too small to notice at low speed. In the end, you need to fix the cable, and then replace the fluid. And while the cable is being fixed, have them check inside the drum to see if there is an additional problem that's making the pads stick.

By the way, how did you know the drivers side rear wheel was getting hot?

  • I found that left rear wheel is getting hot when I got out of the car, I checked each wheel to see if its hot or not by approaching it. – Bogdan Petrica Mar 9 '16 at 20:05
  • Ok, I wasn't sure. That makes the most sense. And if it's warm enough to feel the heat, it's really warm. – cdunn Mar 9 '16 at 20:07
  • Do you I have to fix the emergency brake cable in the end? Yes, is the cause of the brake problem I am experiencing? I am not sure, and the guys at the garage didn't convinced me. Of course I can start replacing parts until the problem goes away but I would rather replace only the parts the cause the problem. – Bogdan Petrica Mar 9 '16 at 20:08
  • No problem at all, happy to help! – cdunn Mar 9 '16 at 20:10

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