Get To The Bottom Of Your Spongy Brake Pedal Problem

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picture of car brake rotor When you have a brake problem, bringing your car to a full stop can take more effort than it should. Spongy brakes—also described as squishy or mushy brakes—can cause big trouble if not addressed right away with a brake inspection and service. Find out what could be causing such a change in braking performance and how we can help solve it.

1. Air in the brake lines


Air in the brake lines is one of the most common causes of spongy brakes. Braking systems rely on evenly distributed hydraulic pressure to bring vehicles to a halt. Air in any of these lines can throw off this balance of pressure. Poor pressure can result in more time, distance, and/or effort to stop. In other words: a soft brake pedal. Air in the brake lines could be due to a leak or low brake fluid.

2. Brake line damage


What can damage a brake line and cause a leak? Rust, for one. Rust from road salt and moisture can cause brake lines to become brittle, leak, and break. Damage from a car crash can also cause brake lines to bend and collapse, weakening them and making them more susceptible to problems down the road.

3. Old or low brake fluid


And how about low brake fluid? Time might be the key suspect here. Brake fluid converts the energy you apply to the brake pedal into the force required to bring your car to a stop. Just as your brake pads wear thin over time, so can your brake fluid. If you can’t remember when you last had a brake service, then you might have low brake fluid simply because it’s being used by your braking system. Or, the low fluid could be due to a leak. Either way, it’s time to schedule a brake inspection!

4. Cylinder wear


The master cylinder plays an important role in distributing the hydraulic pressure mentioned in #1. It pushes the brake fluid where it needs to be to help bring your car to a stop. Over time, seals within the cylinder can break or leak. If you have to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor to bring your vehicle to a stop, this might be why. The braking system simply isn’t working as efficiently as it used to.

5. Damaged disc brake caliper


Braking creates a great deal of heat. That heat can damage your car’s disc brake calipers over time. How can you spot disc brake caliper damage? On top of spongy brakes, you may notice that your car pulls to one side or the other when stopping. You might also hear a squeaky or squealing sound when braking.

Stop brake problems before they stop you


A braking system you can trust is a must-have for safe driving, regardless of the weather or road conditions. At Highway Auto Rockhampton, your safety is one of our top priorities and we’ll never recommend a service that doesn’t align with that priority. We offer free brake checks five days a week, during which a qualified technician will measure brake system wear and check for leaks. Schedule an appointment to have your spongy brakes inspected or stop by Highway Auto as soon as possible. Our technicians aren’t “soft” on soft brakes!
 
 

$197 Brake service kit includes:


  • Supply and fit Bendix disc pads.

  • Inspect disc rotors for condition, measure thickness.

  • Inspect brake caliper operation.

  • Clean and lubricate caliper sliding pins and contact areas.
  • Check brake fluid condition and top up if necessary.

  • Visually inspect brake master cylinder.

  • Measure tyre wear

 
 

Common brake problems and the warning signs:


  • A spongy brake pedal

  • A grinding sound when you depress the brake pedal

  • Squealing brakes

  • The car pulling to one side when you brake
  • The brake warning light illuminating

  • Brake fluid level dropping

  • The brake pedal being hard to press

  • Pulsating brake pedal