2015 Corolla with 7k miles has “soft brakes”

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10
Location
New Orleans, LA
Thread starter
Is the master cylinder and brake seals covered in the 5 year powertrain warranty? My searches only excluded wearable items like pads and rotors. No fluid against the firewall. Doesn't seem like a master cylinder should fail at 7,000 miles.

9C33BD15-17AC-4D3A-BEF9-580CD267CCD5.jpeg
 
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2,700
Location
USA
It's not a powertrain part. Would be considered under the standard warranty on the rest of the car.
 
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12,777
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Have you owned the car long? I mean, it wasn't soft before? To me, most Toyota cars have soft/mushy brake pedal.
 
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234
Location
Hedgesville, WV
I doubt they will cover this but it sounds like you got some water in the system. Try starting the car and standing on the brake pedal. If it is slowly moving down you may have a bad seal or air in the system but if it only feels mushy after you drive it I would guess water. Either way I would have the system flushed and bled. Sitting for a long time can cause a seal to stick or flat spot, sometimes just getting it good and warm will resolve it sometimes not.
 
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10
Location
New Orleans, LA
Thread starter
It's owned by an older lady used for once a week grocery runs. I'm older too, so I won't be doing any brake work. Can air get in the lines without a seal failure?
 
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10
Location
New Orleans, LA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by samven
I doubt they will cover this but it sounds like you got some water in the system. Try starting the car and standing on the brake pedal. If it is slowly moving down you may have a bad seal or air in the system but if it only feels mushy after you drive it I would guess water. Either way I would have the system flushed and bled. Sitting for a long time can cause a seal to stick or flat spot, sometimes just getting it good and warm will resolve it sometimes not.
Originally Posted by samven
I doubt they will cover this but it sounds like you got some water in the system. Try starting the car and standing on the brake pedal. If it is slowly moving down you may have a bad seal or air in the system but if it only feels mushy after you drive it I would guess water. Either way I would have the system flushed and bled. Sitting for a long time can cause a seal to stick or flat spot, sometimes just getting it good and warm will resolve it sometimes not.
Originally Posted by samven
I doubt they will cover this but it sounds like you got some water in the system. Try starting the car and standing on the brake pedal. If it is slowly moving down you may have a bad seal or air in the system but if it only feels mushy after you drive it I would guess water. Either way I would have the system flushed and bled. Sitting for a long time can cause a seal to stick or flat spot, sometimes just getting it good and warm will resolve it sometimes not.
Thanks I will try that.
 
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23,717
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted by NHBFAN
It's owned by an older lady used for once a week grocery runs. I'm older too, so I won't be doing any brake work. Can air get in the lines without a seal failure?
I seriously doubt the MC seals are gone unless you have had to add fluid more than once. I suspect possibly moisture in the system as the other poster said as you live in a high humidity area. A brake flush and possible a drum brake (IIRC this has still used rear drums) adjustment will probable take care of it.
 
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660
Location
Albany, NY
I'll say my Lexus had very marginal brakes. One issue was seized pins in the rear calipers. Even fixing that wasn't 100%. Doubt that is your issue. So I got techstream and went thru the full service bleed procedure twice (due for this service anyway). Used 2qts of DOT 3. Now the pedal is much firmer, but I've driven cars with brakes that almost lock the wheels if you apply even small pressure.
 
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939
Location
Athens, GA
What are the chances of the older lady resting her foot on the brake pedal while driving? Doesn't take a whole lot of riding the brake to bake a set of pads and boil the fluid.
 
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12,777
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
This is difficult to diagnose on a forum. I mean, someone may guess it right but, most of us are just grasping at straws(I mean that in a good way). But, we're just saying what we'd try do for ourselves. Any of us would have to look at the brake system and see if there is one or more slider pins are sticking slightly or the rear drum brakes(many Corolla's have rear drum brakes) need a serious adjustment. OR, MAYBE IT NEEDS NOW PADS IN THE FRONT...And bleed the system. (Here in the North), I've had sticking slider pins that still allowed the car to roll in "D" or on an incline in "N" but, made the pedal soft(travel further). IMO, Toyota's have soft brake pedals and they(Toyota/Lexus) only seems to be addressing this lately. But, if the soft pedal or pedal travel is excessive to where the vehicle barely stops(or doesn't) then, I'd need to look further just like anyone else. 1) Toyota/Lexus have a soft pedal 2) Any of the above can make it feel worse 3) IDK, I need to have a look
 
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744
Location
New Hampshire
I'll throw my hat into the ring... No they won't cover it. To diagnose if it's the master cylinder, try "pumping" the brakes when it feels soggy while driving. There are seals in the master cylinder that will get distorted, causing pedal to drop and when you pump the brakes it sometimes "fixes" them temporarily and the pedal will return to normal, before dropping again. The same applies for clutch master cylinders. But I doubt that's ^^^ the case. Spongy brakes can be air, and you also should be able to "pump" the brakes there as well, and it should return to "normal". When you pump the brakes you break the air bubble up into less harmful and more manageable little bubbles (and you will have a normal brake pedal until the air gathers again). If the you step on the brake and it slowly goes to the floor? You have a leak. If it's an internal leak - it would be inside the master cylinder (those seals I was mentioning). And if it's an external leak you'll notice wetness around the calipers (and the brake fluid level will drop in the reservoir). Both are NOT good and dangerous. And if the brake pedal just feels low, it could be a leaking wheel cylinder in the rear (if it has drum brakes). Or the shoes could be out of adjustment. I swear some of the worst things for a car is not driving it enough and letting it sit, this is when these things tend to pop up. And another thing - the brakes might be fine, some cars have brake pedals that don't feel right to some people. I'd have it checked out and test driven by a mechanic. And even if it is something "major", like a master cylinder...that's not exactly end of the world stuff. A master cylinder replacement isn't all that expensive in the grand scheme of things for a car.
 
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10
Location
New Orleans, LA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Railrust
And another thing - the brakes might be fine, some cars have brake pedals that don't feel right to some people. I'd have it checked out and test driven by a mechanic. And even if it is something "major", like a master cylinder...that's not exactly end of the world stuff. A master cylinder replacement isn't all that expensive in the grand scheme of things for a car.
That is a consideration. She complained about the brakes being a little soft. I drove it and at first it seemed acceptable to me, but when I got back in my Honda MY brakes seems extra sensitive.
 
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16,357
Location
NH
On my truck when the pads got stuck up front it felt something like this. I think it was from having to push harder to get the rears into action. Can't hurt to pull apart the pads up front and make sure that all the parts are properly sliding. I'm dubious that it is water in the brake fluid, unless if you are dragging a brake and getting it hot, it should still be acting like water. Flushing the brakes isn't bad but my money is on that this is not the problem.
 
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10
Location
New Orleans, LA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by supton
Flushing the brakes isn't bad but my money is on that this is not the problem.
It was news to me that some manufacturers recommend periodic brake fluid changes (flushes?) and some don't. Apparently Toyota doesn't include brake fluid changes in their recommended maintenance guidelines. I'll keep you posted when I learn the fix.
 
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1,385
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RI
Does the car have drum brake system in the rear? It may help to adjust them if it does. A quick check would be to see how far the brake lever travels. If more than 4 clicks or so they could use adjusting.
 
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10
Location
New Orleans, LA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by mattd
Does the car have drum brake system in the rear? It may help to adjust them if it does. A quick check would be to see how far the brake lever travels. If more than 4 clicks or so they could use adjusting.
I believe the 15 Corolla LE does have drum rear brakes, as does the 2020. Thanks for the tip.
 
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1,385
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RI
Self adjusting or not they still need periodic adjustment. They don't keep it perfect by any means.
 
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16,357
Location
NH
I don't see what the drum brakes have to do with this. I don't think this vintage is applying the rear drums first to prevent nose dive...? I know that is done on some cars but I thought it was only on setups with ABS and rear discs--I could be wrong though--but most rear drum brakes tend to go to the scrap yard with original shoes and that makes me think they don't do this, that the rear shoes are applied very lightly most of the time.
 
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