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The brake pedal is slowly sinking to the floor after the car stops on my daughter's (who moved out of state) 2012 Kia Sorento. She took it to the dealer (800 miles from purchase) and they told her that the master cylinder is shot and not covered because some anti-freeze topped-off the fluid. The reason this is fishy is I changed the oil last and no one has touched the brake fluid reservoir.

I think that is a load of crap on a 16,000 mile car AND they said they drained it already and want to know what she wants to do.

My reading says anti-freeze won't harm the system in 7 days, or at all. Could, for example, 3 ounces of anti-freeze cause damage to the master cylinder?

Does this sound like they destroyed the evidence by draining it and their charge of $700 is really outrageous?

Should I ask for a district or factory rep to speak to and report this?

Thanks for any help offered
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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Ouch. Ethylene glycol is probably not going to destroy the seals in the master cyl, even if it was more than a few ounces. Sounds fishy. I would take it somewhere else and ask Kia corp to investigate.
 

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Thanks....I called the service manager and said I didn't understand the message and how the master cylinder could be ruined and to please investigate and call me back. That was 90 minutes ago. So I hope they are getting a story right to say it's covered.

Thanks
 

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I had a Ford back in 2002 and they told me I needed a new transmission. I called a district rep and suddenly I didn't need one, a modulator (I think) was replaced, and I put 100K more miles on it.
 

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2015 Sorento EX V6 AWD Ebony Black
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That sounds like a Crock! How does antifreeze get into the brake fluid cylinder :confused: Unless, your daughter is not telling you something she accidently did? If not, the dealership must have screwed up, and caused this when new, during dealer prep? Either way antifreeze is sort of a lubricant, & somewhat inert.

I would tell them to drain it, & refill it, the amount of brake fluid used, and labor should not be anywhere near $700!,,,, maybe even less then $70 parts, & labor!
 

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I now drive a 2003 S-10 Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
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I smell a rat. Most of the time when someone has proof that wrong doing has occured they keep the evidence to shove in your nose. Kia has already dumped the "evidence" and said it is your fault. Most laws read "no evidence no conviction". It should be found in your favor. Who last worked on it and what was done? If someone worked on it and put antifreeze in your brake fluid that person should be barred from ever touching a vehicle again.
 

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This is horseshit. You could piss in your master cylinder and run your brakes off of that for awhile (until the lines eventually rusted out). It is either a.) a big lie, or b.) THEY put antifreeze in the master cylinder themselves.

I'd get the car back, call Kia corporate and explain the situation and that you were going to drain the brake lines and have the fluid collected (all on camera) and then analyzed for any antifreeze in it. If none was present you were going to sue the pants off of them as well as writing every single newspaper within a 500 mile radius and contact every-single .gov agency that deals with fraud as well as those that deal with cars.

Corporate will back down and then I would proceed to write newspapers and file complaints against that dealer. It is absolute garbage.
 

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Cerato
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Since the car is fairly new, it's unlikely that anti-freeze has been anywhere near the engine or that the brake master-cylinder has needed topping up. Has there been any previous problem with the brakes where someone may have needed to top it up?

I don't know how the dealer determined that anti-freeze had been added; it's quite similar in properties to other hydraulic fluids, in fact some hydraulic fluids contain ethylene glycol: http://www.mrlhydraulics.com/uploads/THE_BASIC_CHEMISTRY_OF_DIETHYLENE_GLYCOLS.pdf

Some rubbers don't like ethylene glycol.

Suggest you take your car to a brake specialist who will fix whatever is wrong and bleed the system. If anything strange has been added, it probably hasn't reached the brake cylinders. Some places will sleeve your master cylinder with stainless steel to avoid the replacement cost.

The dealer shouldn't charge very much to simply refill/bleed the system. Don't tell him you intend to take it elswhere, just say you want to test it.
 

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2011 Sorento AWD V6 SX Cherry Black
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Ummmm, you are still under warrenty, so call KIA Headquarters and tell them your story and that it appears that the dealer is not being upfront/honest with your daughter. I found that Hqtrs really tries to get problems solved to develop a good customer base, unlike some of the dealers that were former used cars hacks.
 

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2013 Sorento EX V6 AWD
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Be sure to tell us which dealer this is....so folks on the forum can avoid them in the future.

Best,
 

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Gooogle "anti freeze in master cylinder". It looks like it IS bad!
What problems? Brakes just compress fluid. Assuming that there actually was coolant in the master cylinder (and I have no idea how that could happen), it could only have gotten in to top off the master cylinder. You are now talking a small amount of water and ethylene glycol in the brake fluid. Brake fluid is extremely hygroscobic and would absorb all of the water very quickly. As the brakes were used this water would either boil and introduce air bubbles into the system, or it would begin rotting out the brake lines from the inside. Either way it would require a simple flush and refill of the brake system. Get a turkey baster, suck everything out of the MC, get a couple of quarts of cheap DOT3 or 4 fluid from Walmart. Pour in the new fluid, and then go wheel to wheel and flush everything out. If you push two quarts through the system you will have evacuated EVERYTHING and then some. Does anyone know if speed bleeders are available for the Sorento? Those make life much easier as well.
 

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2011 Sorento AWD V6 SX Cherry Black
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If the vehicle is still under warranty, and there is possible company warranty action on the problem, you would be wise not to do anything that cannot be fully validated and done by some one that is a qualified mechanic.
 

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2011 Sorento AWD V6 SX Cherry Black
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By the way, new sorento owner, how about some of your bio information, just so this is not a roust.
 

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2012 Sorento EX V6
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Update: I have an auto mech friend who says that flushing the system should be sufficient. Water in antifreeze boils and causes soft pedal, but he thinks it should not damage the system.
 

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2011 Sorento AWD V6 SX Cherry Black
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I agree and with relatively new vehicle, should show some leaks in system that "required" a top up in the first place. If they did dealer servicing, should be on billing that the dealer checked and topped fluids. I always recommend dealer servicing when every possible according to the KIA book maintenance requirements (rather than some dealer's idea, ie., $$$$.) At least for the few times needed within the first 25K miles.
 
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