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4 wheels locking up
07-14-2017, 06:15 PM (This post was last modified: 07-14-2017 06:25 PM by HEATHERLP.)
Post: #1
4 wheels locking up
Hi Everyone, I am seeking some ideas. I have a 2000 Nissan Altima with 129,000 miles on it.

2 years ago a friend put new brake pads and rotars on my car , afterwards the pedal went to the floor. so we replaced the master cylinder . The pedal still went to the floor, so he had a friend that he had look at it and his friend adjusted the master cylinder rod, he was also nice enough to see why the the check engine light was on and replaced the mass air sensor at the same time. (not that the mass air sensor is related but i figured i would mention it)

The car drove wonderful for about 2 days, then suddenly it seemed to have an issue when stepping on the gas while taking off from a stop sign or red light. felt like it was not getting enough gas, or something was sticking.

when I pulled over to check I could hear crackling under the hood, the front cat was all red light hot coals. living pay check to pay check like most of us I could not afford to tow the car or repair the cat . so the car sat for two years.

when I finally was able to fix the car 2 years later .
car was towed to mechanic.

1) he replaced the cat
2) exhaust leak replaced
3) replaced egr valve because check engine light was on

I picked up the car and drove it 2 miles and the car lost power and barely wanted to move, I manged to get it back to the mechanic and they said it was my brakes , all 4 wheels were locked and my front brakes were super hot. He adjusted the master cylinder rod and the car drove great .(he also said that this was probably my problem that caused the cat to over heat) I live in a small town and work less than a 1/4 mile away so I usually go about 2 miles a day round trip. The first day That I had to drive more than 5 miles the brakes get hot and wheels lock up, I also noticed that the brake pedal was also getting very hard , and the more i drove the more firm the pedal would become until the wheels would lock up. The funny thing though was after it sat for a few hours I could get in it and drive 5-6 miles
until it did it again. anyhow back to the mechanic it went, they found that the caliper pins were froze so they unfroze and greased them, and also replaced a brake line that when to the caliper. The car drove amazing after that , for about 4 days I drove the car around everywhere, I even took the long way to and from places to break it back in after sitting for 2 years. then suddenly after about 75 miles over the course of 4 days , that damn brake pedal started to get firm and yes the wheels locked up (all four) front very hot. I also noticed each day while at a light or stop sign the car would shake and vibrate ...i could feel it in my feet, under my seat, in the steering wheel and even see the hood vibrate . not sure if this is related but the more I drove it the more I would notice it while I was at a stop.

so anyhow back to the mechanic it went, he decided to replace the master cylinder that had been replaced 2 years prior before the warranty ran out just in case it had a defect , he also replaced a hose that went to it , and replaced another brake line of some sort. They indicated that they drove it for about 30 minutes all around town and did not feel the brake pedal get firm or the wheels lock up. I went and picked the car up and I drove it for an hour at least to just see if it would get firm and lock up...guess what the damn pedal got firm and yes the wheels locked up and yes all four!!

everytime it happens i can leave it sit to cool down and get back in and start all over !!!!

so now it is back to the mechanics...he basically said I do not know, we looked at everything and replaced any lines or hoses that did not seem to function or had a kink or crack even if they worked if they had a crack or kink they were fixed, the calipers are not leaking, brake fluid is normal the car is not loosing any . We checked to see if anything was leaking air and could not find any leaks . He basically said I am going to have to research this to see what it could be . I need my car asap I am suppose to start working in another town soon.

now most would say he is trying to get a bunch of money out of me, but all that he has done including the install of a new cat I have only spent around $450 and that includes parts. so I think he is more than fair on his price, he is a very busy busy place I just don't think he has the time or the manpower to look for causes .... I go here because he has done work on many of my co workers cars and other places are to far my car will not make it.

please any ideas or advice ????? what can he look at next, what should he try to repair has anyone had this happen to them ????

I almost forgot but when I first start my car the brake pedal goes to the floor (almost) like it should but I can hear air as I apply pressure I heard this before the brake job 2 years ago so it may be normal and when I step on the brakes I can hear a click in my shifter (it is automatic not manual) is this normal? and the back brake on driver side make a spongy sound when stepping on brakes, randomly.

Thanks Heather
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07-14-2017, 10:24 PM
Post: #2
RE: 4 wheels locking up
Boy oh boy, you got yourself a can of worms, and part of that is the age of the car. (17+ years old) The other part is a series of things that should have been addressed a few years ago.

The clicking sound near the shifter is normal. This is the interlock that prevents you from pulling out of park without stepping on the brake. Most cars with an automatic trans have had this feature for around 25 years or so.

Sticking brakes need to be addressed as a safety issue. You may have stuck calipers from the car sitting (2 years is a long time) and that will lead to premature brake pad wear. Might even be the cause of that noise from the rear wheel. (almost worn out?)

The "rushing air" sound when applying the brakes is probably a bad (leaking) power booster. Typically the noise comes from under the dash area. When (if?) this gets replaced there's a procedure for proper adjustment of that master cylinder push rod. You really have to know what you are doing here or the brakes will drag again! As for the pedal going to the floor, that may happen if the brake fluid boils from the excess heat. (back to stuck calipers or misadjusted push rod) It's not rocket science but one has to be familiar with all of this history to track down the problems.

As for the red hot cat... that will happen if anything is wrong with the way the engine runs for a prolonged time. Once the cat is replaced they need to track down the original cause and fix that too.

Keep us posted and we'll chat more.
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