I have a 1998 Saturn SL2 that the braking has for the most part gone out. I've replaced the master cylinder and bled the brakes. However when I turn on the ignition, the brakes go to the floor. When I pump to build pressure, it doesn't change anything even for a second. When I park the car, bleed the brakes again there is no air coming out (only fluid). I'm at a loss. Saturn mechanic said that it can't be the booster as they are built to last to the junk yard.

Asked by Mar 03, 2017 at 11:12 AM about the 1998 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

As stated above, my daughter's 1998 Saturn SL2 is currently experiencing
some braking issues. She has the apply the brakes to the floor to stop it at all
and it takes about 10 to 20 feet to stop it going roughly 15 to 20 mph. She
had her brakes replaced and it continued. I bled the brakes for her, nothing
changed. I changed the master cylinder and bled again. Though brakes
showed no air in lines after bleeding and while parked, once I turned the
engine on to test drive it for her, the brakes when to the floor and in creeping
down the hill type driveway, could barely keep control of the stopping ability.
What am I missing? I don't see a break in any line where there would be loss
of fluid or vacuum. I bought a brake booster but had so much trouble trying to
remove move it that I asked a Saturn mechanic to please come help. He said
that brake boosters for this car are made to last to the junk yard. I simply
don't know where to look and he said he doesn't have to time at present to
help. Can someone here please help me.

11 Answers


Was the master cylinder bench bled before you put it on? It needed to be bench bled first before installing.

2 people found this helpful.

If you're 100% certain you are not leaking brake fluid anywhere, and volume of fluid in the reservoir is not changing, then that leaves the master cylinder as suspect. It's also possible you have bad flex lines, that are swelling when under pressure, eventually they would rupture, but I would focus on the master cylinder. It's possible you got a bad one, try bench bleeding it to check operation.

1 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

I need to type faster.....

No Rowefast, we didn't I didn't hear about bench bleeding until after I had installed it. I thought that because I bleed them at the wheel till there was no air only fluid leaving, that the cylinder was bled. Do you think this could be the problem? I'll feel so incredibly stupid if it is. All this work and it could've been avoided?


Yes it needs to be bench bled, no two ways around it. You said this was a new master cylinder, a bleeder kit would have come with it.

1 people found this helpful.

Mr. KenF, I didn't bench bleed it as you and another have mentioned here. I did however install it and bled the lines, which I thought was appropriate. I will remove it and bench bleed it if you don't think it's too late. Could I have done any damage by not bench bleeding it? Thank you for all your help.

Yes, there was a bleeder kit in it, I just didn't know what it was until advance auto was laughing at me. Thank you so very much. Though I have to take it back off, at least I now know what the problem is and can fix it. I truly appreciate you. God bless and have a truly awesome weekend.


Was the first thing I pointed out. If you have any other problems don't hesitate to ask.

Yes you did Mr Rowefast. You said it right off and I truly appreciate that as I said before. However, I forgot to put your name on it so you would know I'm speaking to you. I do thank you and will definitely be looking for you if I have any future issue. Again thank you and please Havre a truly blessed weekend. God bless


You too...


Well looks like you found the problem I was going to say maybe it's a leaky wheel cylinder or a combination of two or three?

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