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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately, whenever I first start up my 2000 passat (83k miles) and roll out of wherever I'm parked, my brakes don't seem to work right. I can only push the brake pedle down about half way, and then it will slowly release. As a result, when i first press down on the brake, the car won't stop right away. It got pretty scary yesterday, as the car traveled about 5 feet further than I had intended it to while bakcing up in a parking garage. After this happens it's usually OK, but I definitely become more tentative as i drive in traffic most of the time. Also, every once in a while the brake pad warning will come on, and sometimes it will turn itself off after about 10 minutes, while other times it will stay on until I turn the car off. However, yesterday, when the brakes were at their worst, the indicator never went on. I was hoping someone could give me some insight into what might be up before I go get robbed by the dealership.
 

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Whens the last time you did any brake service on your car? Might want to visually check your brake pads and replace them if they're worn. Also, if you haven't done one, you're twice overdue for a complete brake system flush and fill.

I'd go over your maintenance items first and make sure everything is kosher there, then start looking a things like the master cylinder or possibly the brake booster.
 

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1) Does your brake resevoir have sufficient fluid?
2) Your brakes don't work right. Why on earth are you continuing to drive the car?
3) What have you been waiting for? Your brake light has been on for some time! For most people, this would be considered a serious issue to be fixed immediately.

Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not fool around with internet message boards, and head directly to the car repair facility of your choice. (Preferably via a tow truck.)

A failure of the brake system could have far more catastrophic consequences then say, timing belt failure. (After all, a timing belt failure just leaves you with a broken valve train... brake failure can leave you with a broken body)

I could understand maybe driving the car (carefully) to a repair facility if the brakes worked, but the light was on intermittently. But, in this case, THE BRAKES ARE NOT WORKING RIGHT!!!! Get thee to a shop now!

SirWired
 

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I sounds like some sort of hyrdralic malfunction.

1. Possible a sticking rear caliper
2. vacuum leak to the brake booster ( it probably bleed of the pressure when it sits)
3. A slowly failing master cylinder
4. Possibly a malfuntioning abs pump and accumulator.
 
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