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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks-

Wonderiing if anyone else out there is experienceing total loss of braking power after driving through deep snow? What I am talking about is NOT just braking deterioration due to the ABS system clicking away and not allowing the car to slow down, I am quite familiar with that sensation. What I am talking about is NO braking what so ever, with a rock hard pedal, and absolutely ZERO deceleration, and then, all of a sudden the brake system "wakes up" and the abs system goes into full spaz mode and does its best to slow the car, (which it of course it does incredibly poorly, but we all know that).

So, what is going on here? Are the ABS sensors getting covered by the snow, and confusing the computer? Anyone else having a similar experience?

For reference I have the car fitted with Nokian WR's.

Thanks

Michael
 

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The Mystery of the disappearing gas

Well first I could not get the car started today. After about 5 minutes it turned over. Then when I was driving I had total brake loss. Was not fun and it happened the same way you mentioned. After about several minutes of taking it easy and applying small pressure to the brakes they "woke up" again. Also, everything in my car is rattling now. It just used to be the glovebox but it is coming from everywhere now.
 

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If you drive your car through water (for a few minutes) deep enough to soak your rotors and pads, the exact same thing happens. Your brakes bascially stops working for a few seconds until the pads can generate some friction. Yeah, you pess the pedal and nothing happens, pretty scary.

Deep snow = water melting and soaking your rotors and pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply, but that is not what we are talking about, I have been driving for quite some time, and am quite familiar with water on rotors, or the like. Been driving in vermont winters for 18 years, this is unlike anything I have experienced before. This is a complete system failure.

It is not a good thing! Jersey STi thanks for responding. I suspected it is a design flaw, and is not specific to just my car. I would also note that it has been quite cold here this week, and my battery sounds pretty weak as well. Perhaps undersized to keep it light.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I am going to try some testing before I call them. I believe there is a fuse specdifically for the ABS system? If so I plan on going out tomorrow to do some testing. First I will attempt to recreat the problem. Then I will remove the fuse, (if I can find it) and again try and recreat the problem. I have a video camera suction cup mount I think I will try and mount the camera outside attached to the fender, filming the front wheel to see if it shows anything interesting.

Will certainly report back.

Michael
 

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Keep me posted leadfoot. Like you said I have been driving for a long time also and had the rotors soaked with water and know what it feels like when the brakes are wet but this was not the case. I had absolutley no brakes at all. I had the brakes to the floor and nothing was happening.
 

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Colin to ride for Subaru!?

Won't it be hard to see what the wheel is doing from a video camera? The frame rate is usually about 30FPS which will be hard to see the wheel spokes turning frame to frame. This means you won't be able to see the wheel lock and unlock once the ABS kicks in. Prior to that, if there is no braking being done, what do you expect to see from watching the wheel?

This issue almost sounds similar to the freakyness of the WRX's brakes. On those, if a tire hits a bump and looses contact with the ground, the ABS will release all tires and reapply the brakes after about a half second. That is a real long half second when you are on the brakes though.

-Lance
 

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I am going to have to agree that it is just snow/water causing lost friction. happened on just about every car that I ever went plowing through deep snow in. we just got 10 inches of snow here last night, and I was out driving my saturn all night. and after going through fresh untracked snow and having it caked up inside my rims I coupld press the brakes as hard as I wanted with nothing happening. if you hold some light pressure on the brake pedal for a few seconds going down the road it starts building friction, melts the snow nad ice off of the pads and rotors and bam you have brakes again. What you are talking about happening to you is the same thing. when that snow and ice fianlly melts off of there and your brakes kick in of coarse your on snow and the wheels are going to try and lock up. then our wonderfull ABS kicks in and takes over. this is normal and will happen to any car. you may not notice it as much if you bave been driving for a while stopping and going and have those pads heated up. but for the most part when you have your metal rotors getting hit with snow and 25 degree air with who knows what kind of windchill you would have to expect them to get pretty cold. they are designed to let alot of air to them to keep them cool under performance driving.
 

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I've noticed in this latest snow storm that the brakes squeel like crazy when driving through snow.

Is it possible that the snow is causing the brake pads to get too cold to do any good? It seems like a long shot, but it could be possible.
 

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Last time I washed my car (last week), it was very cold outside, and with wet & cold pads, I could hear and feel a huge difference in the brakes until they dried out and heated up.
 

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I had the exact same thing happen to me coming out of a parking lot today, its about 12 degrees here. Stepped on the brakes at a stop sign, they felt very very hard, kept pumping them but still there was no give in the pedal. Nothing was happeniung, no abs, car just skidded over an long icy patch. Felt like forever but all of a sudden the pedal gave a bit and the abs kicked in and I stopped halfway through the intersection. Intially I thought I was going to go right threw, not a good feeling at all. I have winter tires on.

Not a good feeling at all.

S
 

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there are old threads from last season complaining about brake loss in wet conditions. i've experienced it a few times myself when theyre cold. you gotta smack 'em around a little before you get going.
 

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Nah, as you know FT I have Motul 600 and R4s pads on my car and the same thing happens to me if the brakes are really cold and wet. You just need to warm 'em up, and then it doesn't matter what you drive through.

Be careful when you first start out, use the brakes a little...before you really need them.

Happy Holidays to all.
 

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RE: Opinions on this intake?

The brake system on all cars is designed to function without any ABS. If you ABS pump/computer/sensors craps out on you, your brakes will still work, just no ABS.

(Can't remember if the STI system uses a vacume boost, if it does and that fails, brakes will still work, but pedal effort will go way up)

About the only way you can get a total brake system failure is have one front and one rear line cut at that same time so that the two ends of the brake system bleed dry on you. I suppose you can also break off you pedal or rip the master cylinder from the fire wall too....

At any rate, the snow packed in the pads is 99% positive the correct answer. Just ride you brakes for a bit after you hit deep snow.

If that fails, you still have down shifting and the hand brake to slow you.
 

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I used to experience the total brake failure when they would get submerged I changed the pads and the problem went away totally so I think it was the brake pads.
 

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RE: Re: RE: Turbo XS DP

STI does use vaccum assisted power brakes....Think of ABS as off all the time (isolation solonoids hold pressure and when speed sensors detect wheel slip the ABS control module or even pcm tells the isolation solonoids to modulate brake pressure (dump valves) to the spining wheel to control slip. ABS only comes on during wheel slip...it can also be tied in to the traction control. Hydro boosted power assists are usally only found on i think the bosch 2 ABS systems and engines that have very low vaccum (diesel engines and alot of the trucks that tow large loads (F-350s, chevy vans). Even if the vaccum hose did come off or was not working most modern vaccum assits have a one way check valve that will hold vaccum in the power booster....if your vaccum assist was leaking you can hear it in/out of car (hissing noise) ..to see if you check valve was working just take the hose off and hold your finger over the hose and see if it still sucks.
 

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water soaked pads shouldn't be a problem once they heat up they should regain friction...now if there soaked with grease or oil yes
 
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