Brake master cylinder may need replacing at 125,000 miles on Toyota Corolla

Problem Description and Possible Solution

At 125,000-150,000 miles, the Brake Master Cylinder may need replacing. It is critical to adjust the brake pedal to Master Cylinder pushrod clearance or the brakes can drag and over heat.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 183,131 (90,120–305,000)
8 model years affected: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, more2000, 2002, 2003, 2005
19 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 11 of 11 comments
First front right wheel was locked by brakes after stopping at the metering red light going into the freeway.
Drove it to the nearest exit. after I stopped light blue smoke was coming out for a minute or so on the front right side.
Twenty minutes later the brakes released by themselves and was able to drive back home. Bought front brake pads and replaced just the front right side only as I needed to go back to work.
About a month later after I got home noticed the front left wheel was hot. The pads were touching the rotor.
I could feel it the next morning, there was a slight vibration also.
I was told by some friends to replace the calipers. Did that to both wheels. No change.
Now Im told to take it to a garage or dealer as the master cylinder may be at fault.
I have to do that soon.
Brake pedal slowly goes to floor but no signs of leaks anywhere.
Sometime the brake pedal would slowly go down when stopping, with a loss of braking power. This problem would come and go, with months in between occurrences. Pumping the brake would increase braking power.
My brakes just lock while I was driving trying to find the solution
hello, i have the same problem after totallly changing the complete brake system (front and rear), what the mechanic did wrong ? Thank you.
My brake pedal goes all the way to floor with little stopping power
Front brakes self apply while driving and drag.
intermittent Brake drag from right front disc brake
Brakes locking up
My Corolla was a hand-me-down from an older sibling. As such, this common error was not researched by my family or I: we figured that the spongy/soft feeling in the brake pedal was just something unique to older Corollas as no-one else had ever owned one. While trying to break in heavy traffic one day, the cylinder completely failed on me and as such I rear-ended the car in front of me. If you're purchasing a Corolla of older years PLEASE check out it's master cylinder before driving it: it's a somewhat cheaper fix for what it is, averaging $250-$350, and it really could save you a lot of time and headache.
Front brakes engage by themselves while driving down the road.... I found a square part on the firewall driver side with brake fluid leaking from it but when I took it to a mechanic he said he didn't know what it was called...