Cautionary tale: Intermittent soft brake pedal problem.
Hi everyone. I have a Daewoo G2X/Saturn Sky Redline. The car is great fun. I've had it for 4 years. But I have a cautionary tale to share. I hope it helps someone someday.
A month or so ago the brakes on my G2X went strange. Nineteen times out of 20, when you pushed the brake pedal in, it depressed about five to ten percent before grabbing. Perfectly normal operation. But one out of 20 it went very soft, depressing about 85 percent before grabbing. It was pretty unsettling. Needless to say, I had to get onto it.
I took it to a local indy, and he flushed the brake lines and put new fluid in. No difference. He thought it was the ABS module, but didn’t want to deal with it. So I took it downtown to the Chevrolet service center and left it there. After a bit of reading on this forum, I was suspecting the vacuum pump, and I told them so. But they told my wife they thought it was the ABS module and she said “Ok, go ahead and change it.” Result: same. So they called her again and said they were changing the brake master cylinder. She said “Sure, just fix it.” Result: same. So finally they changed the vacuum pump. Result: Fixed. All that: $1,000. But I didn’t care. It was fixed, and that was all that mattered.
I picked it up a few days ago. The brakes are just fine again. Phew! However, after a little bit of driving, I noticed that the CAI “turkey gobble” was almost non-existent. Instead there was a little bit of quiet by-pass whistle. Power felt down too, even driving in the city traffic as I was. I thought to myself “That’s strange. What’s going on?” I took a look under the hood to see what was wrong and noticed my engine cover was missing – they forgot to put it back on! Everything else looked normal and correct though.
Then I thought about it some more and figured they must have re-flashed the ECU. So I went back down to get my engine cover and asked the mechanic if they had fooled around with the ECU programming. Lots of bowing and apologies (Korea!) and they swore up and down on a stack of bibles that they had not messed with the car’s computer. But I took it out to the highway for some hard pulls, and sure enough it was only pulling about 15 psi. And next thing you know, blow me down! , the cruise control button function was restored - they must have reset to stock and erased my Trifecta tune! Bugger!!
So, lessons to pass along:
1. If your brakes are going soft and deep, say 5 percent of the time, the vacuum pump is a likely suspect.
2. Warn the mechanics not to re-flash your tuned vehicle, because they might erase your tune!!
So, following some other advice I read on a thread here, I guess I will be approaching Trifecta Performance and asking if they have a record of my VIN, and if so, would they kindly help me to get that tune going on my car again.
Oh well! [Sigh] You live and learn!
2008 Daewoo G2X (Auto)
2009 VW Golf GTI (DSG)
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0t (Stick)