Car Doctor Q&A: Cop Tires, Cop Suspension, Cop Shocks, Cop Brakes?

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Cop cars like the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor are pretty stout, but as Car Doctor John Paul notes, all the basic maintenance requirements still apply.

Q. I have a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria which was a former police car and I love this car, but the brakes are terrible. The pedal is consistently low and sometimes I get the feeling it is even fading lower. The car actually stops okay. I have had it looked at but no one seems to have an answer to why this is. Some shops recognize the car as an Interceptor and just chalk it up to too many hard miles. I would like better brakes any thoughts?

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A. Start with a basic check of the hydraulics, the flex hoses can be worn and actually “balloon” out when the pedal is pushed hard and that will cause a low pedal.

The next step is to check the caliper slides. If the calipers are sticking then the caliper pistons will need to travel too much and cause a low pedal. All four calipers need to be inspected for proper operation.

The last step is to check the brake master-cylinder. If the seals in the master-cylinder are worn the pedal will be soft. There doesn’t seem to be a police only master-cylinder but, if you are replacing the there are different part numbers for vehicles with and without traction control.

John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England. A certified mechanic, Paul tests dozens of new cars each year and also hosts a radio show on AM 950 and 550.

John Paul

John Paul

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