April 8th, 2007

Sim Billy on Fire

That's the brakes.

On my way home this afternoon, I took a bump a bit too fast and bottomed out the car.  Next thing I knew, my brakes were almost gone.  The brake idiot light is on, and the pedal goes almost to the floor, though if I press hard enough, the brakes will slowly come on.  Certainly not anything I'd trust for driving around town, but on the rural roads around here, it was enough to get me home.

I'm not sure what the problem is.  I don't really have any place to work on my car here.   The driveway is gravel and the garage has a dirt floor, not exactly the most fun place to jack up a car and go crawling underneath.  What I could see of the calipers through the wheels looks OK, but I can't really tell without taking the wheels off.

I'm hoping it's something simple like a blown brake line.  The loss of pressure would explain why the brakes still function at a reduced capacity.

Tomorrow I'll call for a tow truck (AAA call #2 for the year) and get it towed into a shop in Omaha.  If it is the brake line, I'm going to have them install braided steel lines.  They're more expensive, but they're tougher and allow for higher fluid pressures, which makes for firmer braking. While I'm at it, I'll see if they can install a longer parking brake cable, the existing one is way too short.

I really didn't need this expense right now.