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300tdi brakes gave way

Steve Warman

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Hi All,


I'm sure this is covered elsewhere but I couldn't find it.

I had an interesting drive home tonight, a car coming the other way decided to overtake a cyclist and pull into my path forcing me to slam on the brakes.

The brakes bit as usual but then the pedal just gave way... but i had come to a stop by then.

Approaching the next roundabout with slight trepidation I found that I had no brakes at all and had to use the handbrake to stop. 

When I checked when i got home I had, presumably, brake fluid all over the engine but it didn't empty the reservoir. 

I can have a proper look int he morning when it's light but where's a good place to start looking? The fluid is coming from above the right offside wheel but not necessarily from the master cylinder


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In 2010 we were returning from a trip to Mana pools in Zimbabwe, when I applied the brakes to stop for elephants that were crossing the road. And the pedal went straight to the floor ! Because the road was in bad state, my speed was very low, and I could stop within a few meters ("yards" for the non metric people 😉)

After the elephants were out of sight, I got out of the D1 to search for the problem. 

The brake fluid supply to the caliper is a metal pipe, after the flexible pipe, that takes the fluid into the caliper. The metal pipe is supported in a bracket, fixed to the shock absorber. A sliding, spring type, device is used to keep the pipe affixed to the bracket.

On my vehicle, this spring thingy got lost somewhere on one of the badly corrugated roads that we were travelling, and the metal brake pipe was free to move around in the bracket. This very quickly wore a groove in the pipe, and when I  touched it, it broke off completely

So, always check that those spring attachments are still in position, and securely fitted

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