Technical brake diagnosis - am I on the right track?

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Technical brake diagnosis - am I on the right track?


Oct 18, 2019
My son brought his '08 Panda home with horrible brakes - pulling hard to the left. Fluid reservoir was empty!!
Pedal has long travel and rear right wheel's not locking up
I'm guessing the slave cyl in rear-right has failed. I haven't looked yet as its raining. What do you think?
You have no option to strip it all down and inspect

Jammed front pads
Leaking rear cylinder
Bosch shoes loosing there lining
Leaking master cylinder

Are all very common

And could be a combination

No brake fluid is a slight worry

Once air gets into the abs unit it requires software to purge

Once fixed you can pay a local garage to put it on their brake tester
If pulling hard to one side I would start at the front where most of the work is done, but either way, as has been advised a full brake inspection all round is urgently required.
Once rain has stopped and car dried out try locking wheels right around and looking behind wheel for wet on the tyres smelling of brake fluid, and check the back if possible for same.
If car has been making a grinding noise for some time it is not unknown for worn front brake pads to lose the backing pad and come out of the caliper with brake fluid leaking past caliper pistons etc. at added cost.
Worn discs can use the wear ridge to hit the pad backing plate while there is still some friction material on the pads. Obviously, this would demand the axle set is replaced. Front discs have a little piece of tin on the back probably because there are bolt holes in the hub carrier. It's prone to rusting into holes and it traps gravel against the disc. It offers trivial protection at best, so mine have been removed when rust has set in.

One of mine has been wearing strangely. The back side (inside?) of the disc had good pad contact down the middle 50% of the disc but 25% either side was so poor that it developed rust pits into the disc. The front side (outside?) looked fine. I fitted new discs and pads which have not been on long enough to evaluate. The brakes felt fine and stopped the car in normal ways and there were no odd noises. The sliding pins worked as they should one slightly stiffer than the other but both moved smoothly.