2013 OB 3.6R – spongy / squishy brakes

OK, I’m stumped on this one. Brakes ‘worked’ but just barely. Very soft, could not do a panic stop. Took it in for annual inspection and did not pass. Rear brackets/sliders were rusted up. Ended up replacing all four wheel bearings, new brackets and calipers, new rotors and pads. Bled the brakes, took it for a drive and still mushy brakes. Went out and bought one of those vacuum brake bleeder kits, bled the brakes, and still soft, mushy brakes.

Took the car in for re-inspection, and it passed…. but brakes were still really soft and mushy.

Did some reading about the master cylinder and that sounded like it could be the culprit, even though my VIN wasn’t under recall. Went ahead and got a new master cylinder anyway, installed, and sucked a 32oz container of new brake fluid through the system. Nice clean fluid at all four wheels. Still mushy. Had my son help me bleed the brakes the old-fashioned way (not with the vacuum kit). Still mushy.

Last thought was the brake booster. Checked the vacuum hose and it looked good. With the car running, disconnected the vacuum line, and within a few pumps, the brakes became very stiff. Reconnected the vacuum line and right back to mushy brakes. Repeated a few times – stiff/mushy/stiff/mushy.

Has anyone had this happen or know of a fix? Thanks in advance!

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