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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2003 Taurus SE sedan. When the brake pedal is pressed to begin the car slow down, there is a vibration felt within the brake pedal. As the car slows down more, the vibration goes away. I recently replaced the rear drum brakes. Could that have anything to do with the vibration? Other things to check or is this normal? Thanks.
 

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Any time I have done what i call a panic stop I get a pulsing in the peddle from the anti lock breaks for some time after.

You could also have a warped rotor in the front.
Some new drums need turning before you use them.
 

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Not normal. Have you looked at the front brakes? The rotors on these late models do warped quite often when they wear. For what replacements cost, I usually just replace pads and rotors at the same time.
Our 2011 Mazda CX7 was doing that so I just ordered a kit that included both rotors and pads. Smooth as silk now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not normal. Have you looked at the front brakes? The rotors on these late models do warped quite often when they wear. For what replacements cost, I usually just replace pads and rotors at the same time.
Our 2011 Mazda CX7 was doing that so I just ordered a kit that included both rotors and pads. Smooth as silk now.
I did not look at the front brakes. If the front pads look like they have enough surface left, it could possibly be the front rotors?

As Neal said, new drums sometimes need turning before using them?
 

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Most likely front rotors have become warped. They can warp no matter the condition of the brake pads. This has almost become normal any more, the rotors on modern vehicles are so thin or cheaply made.

Excessive high speed or hard braking, even installing more aggressive brake pads can accelerate warping. In the past you could have them turned if they weren't worn or warped beyond spec, but the expense to have that done nearly exceeds the cost to just replace them.
 

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Most likely front rotors have become warped. They can warp no matter the condition of the brake pads. This has almost become normal any more, the rotors on modern vehicles are so thin or cheaply made.

Excessive high speed or hard braking, even installing more aggressive brake pads can accelerate warping. In the past you could have them turned if they weren't worn or warped beyond spec, but the expense to have that done nearly exceeds the cost to just replace them.
A while ago I told a friend she needed them turned and she did, a year later I felt bad telling her to have them changed out.
 

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If your rotors got hot from use, and you hit a puddle somewhere, you got warped rotors, especially on the modern cheap junk sold now.

And pulsate they will do, There is supposed to be a proportioning valve in the brake line, between the front and rear system.

Sometimes this is faulty, and the two different pressures fight with each other, and you feel it in the pedal.

Most likely this is not your problem, the car is not that old yet.

Check those rotors with a straight edge, the metal ruler from your combination square is perfect for this.

And if you find a high spot or two, you have a choice, live with it, turn them, or replace them.


ED
 

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I have a 2003 Taurus SE sedan. When the brake pedal is pressed to begin the car slow down, there is a vibration felt within the brake pedal. As the car slows down more, the vibration goes away. I recently replaced the rear drum brakes. Could that have anything to do with the vibration? Other things to check or is this normal? Thanks.
Did the vibration show up right after the rear drum work ? When you say you replaced the rear drum brakes what does that mean ? Just the shoes or shoes and new drums ? Aprox. how many miles on the current front pads/discs ?
 

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Playing the odds, drum versus disk, what you described is most likely the front brakes. But since you recently did the rears, did you pre-adjust them? Drum brakes have self adjusters, but I do not believe they will self adjust if the shoes are not engaging the drums to start with, so although I don't recall actually seeing this I can sort of see the shoes skating on the backing plate some if they're not fully engaging. Just a thought, and if you did pre-adjust them they should be fine and I would focus on the front ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Playing the odds, drum versus disk, what you described is most likely the front brakes. But since you recently did the rears, did you pre-adjust them? Drum brakes have self adjusters, but I do not believe they will self adjust if the shoes are not engaging the drums to start with, so although I don't recall actually seeing this I can sort of see the shoes skating on the backing plate some if they're not fully engaging. Just a thought, and if you did pre-adjust them they should be fine and I would focus on the front ones.
I did adjust them when installing. I used a brake resetting gauge when installing to help adjust correctly.
 

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Rear brakes out of adjustment will make the pedal go down further, closer to the floor. A second pump of the brakes will add more fluid to the circuit and bring the pedal up. I've never seen a case where drum brakes caused a pedal pulsation.

Deposits or glaze on the rotor doesn't usually cause pulsation in the pedal. It might cause brake fade because they heat up faster and hot brakes can sure lead to warped rotors. Might also cause uneven braking, where the vehicle seems to surge as the brake is applied due to an uneven friction surface of the rotor. To get rid of that you'd need to mechanically finish the surface. Have the rotor turned or scuff both the rotor and pads to remove any glaze or deposits.

A strong pedal pulsation is most often a warped, usually front, rotor. Easy to check if you have the right tools. Probably undetectable with a straight edge but a dial indicator can reveal it very easily. You could also remove the rotors to have them turned and they can easily detect warp when the rotor is put on the lathe. Or you could just throw on a set of rotors for about $60/pair on the average car. Always best in a proper brake job to replace both pads and rotors to get the best results. The finish on the rotor is important for proper break in of the pads.
 

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Take a good look at them first. What can happen is if you come to a stop and hold the brake pedal down when your rotors and pads are hot from some previous hard braking the pads can leave little pad shaped deposits. These alternate with clean rotor surface and that change in friction as the rotor turns creates pulsation. If you don't see anything like this check the run out and maybe the rotors are warped. But that is unlikely unless you let them get below specified thickness and got them really hot. If that doesn't work, get 'em turned or replace them.

If you see those deposits you can sometimes smooth them off a bit with a sander. Then go out and bed the pads with a series of smooth but firm stops... and drive for awhile after to cool the brakes before stopping and recreating the same problem again.

It could also be the same sort of thing from the drums. When you say you "replaced the rear drum brakes" what exactly did you do, or have done? If you just slapped in new shoes without replacing or turning the drums they could be the culprit.


If it is "glazed pad deposits," is this something that can be "cleaned?" Spray down the pads with brake clean?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Take a good look at them first. What can happen is if you come to a stop and hold the brake pedal down when your rotors and pads are hot from some previous hard braking the pads can leave little pad shaped deposits. These alternate with clean rotor surface and that change in friction as the rotor turns creates pulsation. If you don't see anything like this check the run out and maybe the rotors are warped. But that is unlikely unless you let them get below specified thickness and got them really hot. If that doesn't work, get 'em turned or replace them.

If you see those deposits you can sometimes smooth them off a bit with a sander. Then go out and bed the pads with a series of smooth but firm stops... and drive for awhile after to cool the brakes before stopping and recreating the same problem again.

It could also be the same sort of thing from the drums. When you say you "replaced the rear drum brakes" what exactly did you do, or have done? If you just slapped in new shoes without replacing or turning the drums they could be the culprit.
I replaced, myself, the drums and all of the hardware as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did the vibration show up right after the rear drum work ? When you say you replaced the rear drum brakes what does that mean ? Just the shoes or shoes and new drums ? Aprox. how many miles on the current front pads/discs ?
My son drives the car for the most part and he told me that the brakes have been pulsing for "a while." Whatever that means. That would mean before I did the ream brakes. On the rear brakes, I replaced the drums and complete new hardware. The front brakes were replaced 6/16 and have approximately 30,000 miles on them.
 

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My son drives the car for the most part and he told me that the brakes have been pulsing for "a while." Whatever that means. That would mean before I did the ream brakes. On the rear brakes, I replaced the drums and complete new hardware. The front brakes were replaced 6/16 and have approximately 30,000 miles on them.
If that's the case I would purchase another set of front brake pads , clean the rotors with brake clean and bed in the new pads . Pads are relatively cheap and easy to replace . If the vibration doesn't go away with new pads check the rotors for runout if you have a dial indicator . Could be a worn suspension piece also . You have to check/analyze as you go to solve the problem . Good luck
 
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