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1995 Town Car Brake System Questions

Hello Bill,

I have a 1995 Lincoln Town Car with 325K miles on her, had her for 10+ years now.
When I start the car, no ABS light on, but usually by the time I carefully back out of the driveway, the brake system will gurgle very loudly from what seams to be from within the dash and the brake pedal will go down some (not all the way to the floor, just about an inch or less) and the ABS light will come on. If all this doesn't happen when I 1st back out, it usually will within a couple blocks travel from the house. I'm not loosing any brake fluid, pads still have meat on them. I left the car with the Firestone shop, didn't happen to them. Suggestions?




Greetings Chris -

First of all congratulations on the 325,000 miles on your Town Car. That is a lot of trips to the Coffee Shop.

If your brake pedal is dropping somewhat when the brakes are applied and you are absolutely sure that no brake fluid leaks exist then I would first suspect that the brake master cylinder may be failing. When this happens a portion of the brake fluid bypasses to the other side of the failing seal when you apply the brakes and causes the pedal to drop instead of fully applying that section of the hydraulic brakes. This can cause a warning light to illuminate. After the brake pedal is released the fluid can return to the correct side of the seal and no external leaks can be found. If this is the case a new master brake cylinder will be required. A complete and accurate inspection of the hydraulic brakes is a good idea at this time as these vehicles are known to develop leaky lines and hoses etc.

At Lincoln Land we commonly hear under dash "gurgling" complaints that are caused by air in the cooling system and the rush of churning liquid through the heater core. If you are sure that the sound from your dash is in the brake system then I would be suspecting brake fluid in the booster or a malfunction in the A.B.S. system. In the event that your technician suspects that a problem exists in your Anti-lock Brake section a proper diagnosis as per the factory Shop Manual of that system will be required. We can help you with information from the shop manual if this becomes necessary but competent brake shops will have their own approved manuals.