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I have a 2009 rav4 sports. When I am driving and press on the brakes, I notice the petal pushing back in a pulsating pattern and the brakes don't seem to be engaging for the split second of the pulse when it pushes back. It doesn't feel like a problem with the antilocks firing at all. I did just get work done on my rear passenger tire, which would certainly have involved bleeding the lines. I did not have the problem before my rear passenger axel was replaced. After I shut the car off, if I pump the brakes it becomes stiffer and then impossible to press down after 3 or so pumps, from what I have read, that might rule out the vacuum pump. It doesn't seem to pull to any side when I brake. Any ideas? Thanks
 

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I have a 2009 rav4 sports. When I am driving and press on the brakes, I notice the petal pushing back in a pulsating pattern and the brakes don't seem to be engaging for the split second of the pulse when it pushes back. It doesn't feel like a problem with the antilocks firing at all. I did just get work done on my rear passenger tire, which would certainly have involved bleeding the lines. I did not have the problem before my rear passenger axel was replaced. After I shut the car off, if I pump the brakes it becomes stiffer and then impossible to press down after 3 or so pumps, from what I have read, that might rule out the vacuum pump. It doesn't seem to pull to any side when I brake. Any ideas? Thanks
First idea that comes to my mind is to take it back to the place that replaced your axle. They did something when bleeding the brakes.
 

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Pulsating brake pedal upon brake application is usually caused by incorrectly named "warped brake rotors". It is possible that this is causing your problem, but I would be more inclined to believe that it could be related in this instance to the work you alluded to in your post. It is possible that the rotor was not installed correctly and not tight to its mounting surface. If it or the flange it is mounted to have excessive runout, you could easily have the symptoms you mentioned.
 

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Another cause for this can be incorrectly torqued lug nuts. After getting new tires mounted years ago, I suddenly had this pulsation in the brake pedal. When I took it back to the shop and explained it to the manager, he personally put it back on the rack and hand torqued every lug nut to specs. This solved the problem!
 

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Thanks

I will try it. The people that fixed it are friends of my father in law, and are kind of a pain to deal with at times so I was avoiding going back there. When possible, I try to fix things myself so I don't have to use up his goodwill. I am going to investigate the torque on the lug-nuts myself, then I will bring it back to them if it doesn't fix it. Thanks to those who tried to help.
 
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