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FF Brake fade?

Discussion in 'FF/GTC4Lusso/F12/812S' started by Chris Donnelly, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Chris Donnelly

    Jul 31, 2019
    4
    Full Name:
    CDFF
    Anyone here have experience with brake fade on your FF?

    On 2 separate occasions during some spirited canyon driving, the brakes on my FF went soft going into a corner. I had to put the pedal to the floor to get it to stop. After driving around using little/no brakes they seemed fine again.

    I’m pretty confused as I wasn’t pushing the car very hard or for very long. Both times the car was in sport mode. Is it possible the traction/stability control systems were using the brakes and got them hot? Again I wasn’t pushing that hard at all and was nowhere near the car sliding at any point. After both times I turned esc off and the problem didn’t occur again.

    I had the oil and brake fluid changed in between these 2 occurrences. So I don’t think it’s the brake fluid...

    Car has 12k miles and pads/rotors look completely normal.

    Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated. I want to take the car out to the track Just to get a feel of what the car is capable of, but this brake issue has me a bit worried.


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  2. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
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    Sounds like a brake system flush is in order. The brakes needs to be driven really hard to fade, - not happening. I think what you felt was boiling brake fluid. The OE brake fluid is not bad, but only average. Get your service center to fill the brake system with this.
    http://www.pagidracing.com/en/products/racing-brake-fluid.html

    Your brakes will feel better and you won't get any unpleasant surprises. No more pedal getting soft or any fade. It's worth it.

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  3. Chris Donnelly

    Jul 31, 2019
    4
    Full Name:
    CDFF
    Well I put in new fluid today and bled all four calipers, Inside and outside. There was some air in the right front, but nothing more than that. Ill try it out this weekend without ESC and see how it goes.
     
  4. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
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    Hi there

    How did this turn out?

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  5. Chris Donnelly

    Jul 31, 2019
    4
    Full Name:
    CDFF
    Well new fluid didn’t really help. The pedal went soft after some more spirited canyon driving. They come back once your let them cool down, but for some reason they fade really quickly. It only takes 3-5 hard stops before I start to loose braking.

    Something must be wrong right?

    I have never had a car lose the brakes so fast...

    Maybe air in the abs system?
     
  6. ANOpax

    ANOpax Formula Junior

    Jul 1, 2015
    283
    The Netherlands
    Can you post a pic of the brake rotors?
     
  7. 350MH83

    350MH83 Formula Junior

    Jul 11, 2014
    276
    France
    Full Name:
    Max
    That sounds really off. I took my Lusso on a track and wasnt experiencing any brake fade. The tires, if anything, were the first to give up.


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  8. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
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    Concur. Never tracked the Lusso, but it has decent brakes.
    Hmmmmm.
    Not sure what's going on. Truly surprised the fluid did not help. Normally if it's rotor or pad fade, the pedal stays firm, you just lose braking power. What you describe sounds like fluid fade. The Pagid fluid is super resistant to fade and has a very high boiling point. Both the Challenge and GT3 guys can't make this fluid boil.
    It does not strike me as a leak. Usually that results in a pedal which slowly sinks.
    Doesn't strike me as air either. You can usually pump up the brakes if it is air.
    Before doing anything else, maybe try topping off the system with a bit more fluid, making sure all the old fluid is out, and zero chance of bubbles?

    Alternatively, there is of course the option of trying different pads. Pagid RSC1 is a great road/track day pad with excellent OE road manners.

    How does your rotors feel when you touch them? Smooth as glass or slightly rough? They should be glass-like smooth

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  9. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    9,490
    Boulder, CO
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    Scott
    #9 teak360, Feb 25, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020

    There is a difference between brake fade and the pedal going soft. Brake fade is when you lose braking power due to overheating of the brake pads. A spongy pedal occurs when you have air (compressible) in the brake lines or you boil water in the brake fluid so that it becomes a vapor (compressible).
    If your pedal is firm at first, then becomes soft after just 3-5 hard stops, there is something going on in the brake lines/master/caliper system. I think it is most likely not anything to do with your rotors or pads.

    When you had the brake fluid changed, did they really do it? If so, did they do it properly? I think what you should do next is make sure the brake fluid has been properly flushed and changed, and the system refilled with the correct fluid and properly bled and that there are no leaks in the system. If you still have the problem after that there could be any number of weird brake system things going on, but I don't know what they could be.

    I remember reading once about an unsolvable brake problem. The car would develop a soft pedal at times and the pedal would go to the floor while driving, then be fine right after that. The brake fluid was flushed and replaced, then the pads changed, then the calipers rebuilt, then even new discs (?) but nothing helped.
    Finally the front wheel bearings were replaced and the problem disappeared. There was enough lateral motion of the discs with the bad bearings that they slowly hammered the pistons back into the calipers. If braking often it wasn't noticeable, but given enough time the pistons would be so far back into the calipers it took a long stroke of the brake pedal to get them back out of the calipers.
     
  10. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
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    If it was a bearing, there would be a noise associated with the issue.

    Unless the OP did the change himself, or watched it being changed, I have a feeling that it could very well be a case where they did not change the fluid. Wouldn't be the first time one heard of such a thing.
     
  11. andyrichter

    andyrichter Karting

    Jul 18, 2017
    91
    Oahu
    OP can buy a brake fluid tester online to check unless the dealer is a savage and just siphoned and filled the tank portion.
     
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  12. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
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    I'm sorry I wasn't more clear; I don't think it's a bearing on the FF, I was just relating a story from a different kind of car to show how weird the source of problems can be sometimes. As you can read in my last post, I think it is a brake fluid problem too.
     
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  13. Chris Donnelly

    Jul 31, 2019
    4
    Full Name:
    CDFF
    The brake fluid has been changed 'twice.' Once by the dealer when the car was in for its yearly service and the second time was done by me just to make sure.

    When I swapped all the fluid I found some air in the right front caliper, but other than that it was pretty normal.

    While bleeding/swapping I would pump the pedal and it would stay very firm until the one of release valves on the caliper was opened. Then once closed the pedal was firm. I could pump the brakes and stand on them and with no loss of pressure.

    I keep forgetting to take a picture of the rotors, but yes they feel smooth and glassy.

    Im not feeling very optimistic about taking it somewhere to 'diagnose' but I guess I have no other choice.
     
  14. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
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    No need to apologize. It was clear enough. I just wanted to stress that it seemed highly unlikely, as to help keeping things on point:)

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  15. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
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  16. CrazyMD

    CrazyMD Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2012
    387
    Southern California
    Possibly look into changing the master cylinder. There were some ff’s and 458’s that had bad ones which had a sticky valve inside that would fail to work. Few people got into accidents because of brake failure. Try googling


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  17. EndlessDoodles

    Jun 12, 2016
    33

    Thanks for the info.

    I had my '12 FF in for its first Indy service (goodbye seven years maintenance) recently, odo at ~30k miles.

    Part of the schedule was a brake fluid flush/change.

    When I first bought the car I was amazed, other cars being GT porsches, how little sneeze room I felt at the top of the brake pedal's travel. Just a little tap around town, after hopping out of a Porsche, and I felt like I would go through the windscreen. And that power was pretty consistent until foot hit the floor. I thought the brakes were awesome, especially in a car this size/weight.

    After collecting the car from indy a few weeks back I had a pucker moment on a downhill (not particularly) spirited approach to a stoplight. That initial bite was gone, and I felt a general lack of power and not much *progression* in braking power. I wonder if, the shop being a blue chip race shop that does more P car and Lamborghinis, if they simply weren't familiar with F car (they appeared assured). I haven't driven it much since...need to explore more...but a bit worrying for an initial independent adventure.

    Why indy? eh: last time at dealer= staff turnover; scratched the f*** out of the key insert area (bro, just look); and someone (i assume) leaned against the door with a beltloop keychain and gouged the leather.

    No thread jack intended: consider it a roundabout bump.
     
  18. BJK

    BJK Formula Junior

    Jul 18, 2014
    915
    CT
    You should have immediately called the shop and calmly voiced your real concerns. If they cared about their reputation and/or you as a customer, they should say, "So sorry, bring it back, we'll fix it." Period.
     
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  19. EndlessDoodles

    Jun 12, 2016
    33

    Thanks as you note "immediately" may well have been imperative. Sigh
     

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