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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a tricky one.


Two years ago while driving in a tight storage facility, I tried braking in reverse, and I nearly crashed into the storage facility. What stopped me from crashing was my pulling on the parking brake.


I tried duplicating the issue, and it would would occasionally happen when having the A/C on full blast in this 100F Texas weather. I would have to push the brakes really hard, or pull the parking brake only at low speeds. I got into the habit of shifting into neutral at low speeds.


Fastforward to today, I have the issue when the A/C is off, however, I do notice I still have more braking power when the A/C is off, compared to when it is on. I began to notice my foot requires more effort in stopping my car than other 2012 Cruzes, since I drove someone else's and stopping was so much easier. I also notice I have "some" braking power when I'm engine braking (it's an automatic though).


I'm confused. Jblackburn (and any others that want to chime in), do you think this is a pump problem, or a power distribution problem? The micro switch was replaced for the recall long ago, but I'm having the same issues that occurred before the recall. It took a few years after the repair for it to happen. I don't know if I should drop $200 on a new pump, or try another micro switch. There are no dashboard check lights illuminated, and the initial brake test occurs at 13-15 MPH after startup, however, I don't hear the normal noise supposed to be heard when braking with the engine off. I remember that noise, and it's gone away.


115,000 Miles, 2012 Cruze, 1.4L T, automatisch. The negative battery cable has already been replaced.
 

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Put your Cruze's VIN into https://recalls.gm.com and see if your car is part of the brake vacuum switch recall. A lot of the automatics were recalled for a faulty brake booster vacuum switch. If it's under this recall, print out the page and take it and your car to your nearest Chevy dealership to get it repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Put your Cruze's VIN into https://recalls.gm.com and see if your car is part of the brake vacuum switch recall. A lot of the automatics were recalled for a faulty brake booster vacuum switch. If it's under this recall, print out the page and take it and your car to your nearest Chevy dealership to get it repaired.
"micro switch was replaced for the recall long ago,"
 

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Darn - I still wonder if your replacement switch is faulty. There should be no difference in braking with or without the A/C. One other thought, have you had your rear brakes adjusted? The 1LT and ECO 2011 and 2012 model years came from the factory with the rear brake drums way out of adjustment, reducing braking abilities.
 

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There should be no difference in braking with or without the A/C.
Shouldn't, but I can see that making a difference in how much vacuum the engine creates. So that suggests to me that the system to supplement the engine vacuum with the pump is not working. As a result, the power assist is gone, but can still stop with a hard press on the pedal.

Hard to tell if it's the switch or the pump.
 

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Here's a thought - one other common item that will require more pedal force to engage the brakes is water. Have you replaced your brake fluid yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's a thought - one other common item that will require more pedal force to engage the brakes is water. Have you replaced your brake fluid yet?
I have not. I haven't done that on this vehicle before, and I did find it odd that Brake Fluid isn't on the maintainence schedule.

Do you suppose that would fix the issue? Or would that be something to be done in addition to pump replacement?

thanks for the constructive comments everyone. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one scratching my head on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Darn - I still wonder if your replacement switch is faulty. There should be no difference in braking with or without the A/C. One other thought, have you had your rear brakes adjusted? The 1LT and ECO 2011 and 2012 model years came from the factory with the rear brake drums way out of adjustment, reducing braking abilities.
I actually wondered that too.
 

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Hello all,

I have a tricky one.


Two years ago while driving in a tight storage facility, I tried braking in reverse, and I nearly crashed into the storage facility. What stopped me from crashing was my pulling on the parking brake.


I tried duplicating the issue, and it would would occasionally happen when having the A/C on full blast in this 100F Texas weather. I would have to push the brakes really hard, or pull the parking brake only at low speeds. I got into the habit of shifting into neutral at low speeds.


Fastforward to today, I have the issue when the A/C is off, however, I do notice I still have more braking power when the A/C is off, compared to when it is on. I began to notice my foot requires more effort in stopping my car than other 2012 Cruzes, since I drove someone else's and stopping was so much easier. I also notice I have "some" braking power when I'm engine braking (it's an automatic though).


I'm confused. Jblackburn (and any others that want to chime in), do you think this is a pump problem, or a power distribution problem? The micro switch was replaced for the recall long ago, but I'm having the same issues that occurred before the recall. It took a few years after the repair for it to happen. I don't know if I should drop $200 on a new pump, or try another micro switch. There are no dashboard check lights illuminated, and the initial brake test occurs at 13-15 MPH after startup, however, I don't hear the normal noise supposed to be heard when braking with the engine off. I remember that noise, and it's gone away.


115,000 Miles, 2012 Cruze, 1.4L T, automatisch. The negative battery cable has already been replaced.
Have you tried putting it in neutral when you stop to see if that makes a difference? Also, I would definitely change your brake fluid like others have mentioned. GM updated it in the maintance schedule for the 14 Cruze I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reopening this thread:

Today I replaced the vacuum pump, and flushed the brake fluid. Even after driving the vehicle 15 miles to town and back, the vacuum pump NEVER STOPS at low speeds. Normally it shuts off after about 10 seconds, but instead it is running continuously. I assume I have an air leak.

I can't feel any leaks near the pump, nor near the microswitch. What is the first thing I should do? I'm assuming this is why the last pump burned out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I went ahead and ordered a new hose. Will keep updating. I should've bought a manual Transmission. The hose for the manual is $30, whereas for the automatic is $70. I hate how the automatic transmission "jumps" in the first place.:cussing:

Does the vacuum pump measure the PSI or is that the micro switch's job? Does anyone know? It could be the microswitch?
 

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Check the fuse. When I killed my brake booster pump (not switch), it took the fuse with it. I was a year and 16K miles into ownership and not subject to the switch recall as I have a manual. Also have you had the negative cable replaced at all?
 

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If the pump keeps running (this btw, is not good....the pump is only designed to cycle..it will overheat if on steady), pull the hose off the brake booster.
Start the car and put your fingertip over the hose....the pump should shut off as soon as the vacuum cutoff point is met....should only be a few seconds.
If the pump shuts off, the booster unit itself has failed on the vacuum side.
If the pump keeps running, then remove the plug in wires at the vacuum switch.
If it shuts off, the wiring is not compromised.

I suspect, based on the limited info, the booster may not be holding vacuum.

Ideally, this should be diagnosed by a professional so you don't keep throwing parts, that may be serviceable, in the trash.

Rob
 
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