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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier today I applied the brakes hard enough that ABS kicked in for about a second. After that the brake pedal was hard as if I had lost vacuum assist. I revved the engine to develop some vacuum and the pedal returned to normal feel BUT, it didn't return to the top. I used my toe to pull it up and drove home carefully.

The remainder of my trip home the pedal felt *almost* normal but would go hard if I depressed it multiple times in quick succession. That and it won't spring back to the normal top position, it comes back up but in a lethargic manner.

So, what do you think may have happened? I'm going to look at it this weekend and would love to hear your ideas regarding where I should start testing...

This is on my 2002 Beetle that started life as automatic 1.8 gasser but now lives as a 5-speed ALH.
 

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I am guessing brake booster failed or the vacuum line to the booster has a hole and you are loosing vacuum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately, I've been moving towards the same conclusion, a failed return spring in the booster.

If that's the case, my next hurdle is to figure out which booster model to buy as a replacement. Since this was a 1.8 originally but converted to a TDI the source of vacuum changed. On the TDI there's a vacuum pump driven by the cam shaft, what's source on the 1.8 gasser? And, should I be replacing the booster with a booster that was OEM on the TDI Beetle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Over on TDI Club one of the members suggested that the behavior I described reminded him of the VCDS ABS test routine. Based on his input I ran the VCDS ABS test and something changed for the better. The pedal is returning to normal height in what seems to be normal time. I'll drive the car tomorrow and see how it performs on the road. For the moment I'm thinking it may be fixed.
 
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