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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 3rd June 2014 Thread Starter
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Grand Scenic brakes spongy

I had a rear O/S caliper and Electric handbrake unit replaced about 2 years ago (siezed up) at a Renault dealer after which, I felt they had more travel and felt spongier than before. Of course, they dealer said (as all garages say it seems) they are the same as before. Got them to bleed them again which improved pedal firmness but not quite as good but just made do as they didn't seem interested and I had to be somewhere else.

Fast forward to Autumn 2013 and had to replace front discs and pads (front O/S disc warped causing vibration). Brake pedal travelled very low (dangerously) and were bled again which made pedal very firm - like a new car! However, after a week of careful driving, I went and gave the brakes a test with some hard braking. After this the pedal lost its firmness and became spongier.

I have now had the brakes bled 3 times (pressure bled twice at 30psi) with air each time and even the Renault Clip to clear a suspect stuck actuator on the front N/S wheel earlier in the year (2nd bleed).

Problem is the brakes are still spongy and pedal travel is around half-way down before they really work. Even then, there isn't much 'boost'. MOT coming up in a few weeks but finding it very hard to get a decent inde garage locally that can do this work so was thinking about my options of bleeding myself just to rule that out. Some have said the 2006 Grand Scenic suffers from Master Brake cylinder failure but also told that pads not freely moving cause this too.

Brake pedal firms up with engine off but travels about 2" before stopping movement. The rear brakes squeal at very low speeds too btw.

Would using a one-man kit either the pressure small handled version or one-way valve work with bleeding the brakes and as good as pressurized system (2 bar) and which is better for one-man bleeding? I am concerned that air may be getting in but after checking the Brake Master Cylinder (TRW) today for any leaks it appears bone-dry. The garage that did all the bleeding said no leaks either. I am a little hesitent with jacking the rear of the car too as doesn't appear to be a solid jacking / axle stand point. The regular jack point with recess at edge of sill may be damaged by the jack as I understand.

Could it be there is some air still in even though it was pressure-bled? Seems to me that heavy braking may be bringing air into the hydraulics but that is my feeling/experience.
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2006 Grand Scenic 'Oasis' 1.5dCi 106bhp
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 4th June 2014
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Re: Grand Scenic brakes spongy

I'm no expert, but if you ask me, there must be something wrong with your master cylinder, or something, as you should not be getting air coming into the system. When you bled it the second time, that should have been the end of it.

It's hard to know what to suggest, a new master cylinder won't be cheap and it won't be easy finding a second-hand one, and it may not even be that at fault.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 4th June 2014
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Re: Grand Scenic brakes spongy

Do you think you're getting servo assistance? Any damaged vacuum hoses?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 5th June 2014
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Re: Grand Scenic brakes spongy

Is this still the same problem?

Caliper bleeding question
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10th June 2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Grand Scenic brakes spongy

Thanks everyone. When I turn off the engine the pedal firms up but still travels maybe 2 inches before it is very firm. Is this normal and what others are experiencing on their cars (only have the one car so can't compare)? I am thinking maybe a master cylinder but needs to be checked by another mechanic as not sure about the work done with previous one (bits missing that were there before such as bleed caps, fuse removal tool etc...)

Strange thing I noticed too is the electric handbrake engages when the engine is off after a drive but if I press the brake pedal firmly you can clearly hear the electric handbrake engaging further. I believe I am correct in thinking that after the second bleed (when pedal was really firm a few months ago) this problem went away so put it down to air?

The rear discs are quite worn but the garage took off the rust and said next brake pad change will need new discs. Hoping it won't be me with the car by then!

Tiddles - master cylinder is a TRW as I stripped some of the guff away - 96 Renault but suspect about 50 elsewhere for same part.

Ballibeg - getting some assist but the higher the speed the less I feel it if that makes sense - in other words it is requiring more of my effort and further pedal travel.

Hondo - yep similar problem - really want shot of the thing to be honest but need it MOT'd and brakes working obviously to sell/trade it in. Just tired of the problems - must have been a Friday afternoon model.

Where to jack the rear of the car up btw with small-headed 2T trolley jack and axle stands? Can support of subframe at front but rear doesn't have much and don't want to damage side of car at the emergency jack point (with welded rectangular slot).
Currently in geezerone's garage:
2006 Grand Scenic 'Oasis' 1.5dCi 106bhp
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