What's the Function of My Spongy Brake Pedal? 7 Causes and Solutions
If you own a car and drive it frequently, you've probably experienced a spongy brake pedal. This can be aggravating and dangerous, especially if you're driving and need to come to a quick stop. It could be a minor issue, or the brake pads will need to be replaced during a car service in Reading. However, if your brake pedal is soft, your vehicle may be experiencing more serious issues.
Knowing the possible causes and solutions for soft brakes will give you confidence and direction the next time the issue arises.
What Are the Signs of a Weak Brake Pedal?
A spongy brake pedal can be caused by a number of things. Here's a rundown of the 7 most common causes of this issue, as well as what you can do about it:
1. Brake line issues
Damaged brake lines can cause the pedal to feel spongy when pressed. This means that your vehicle is constantly trying to pump fluid through a faulty line. The hydraulic pressure drops due to a lack of fluid, resulting in a sloppy brake pedal. If rust has formed holes in your brake system or corrosion has eaten away at the pipe's metal. Replace all rusted pipes immediately because they may fail soon. In fact, if you notice any rusty spots forming around these parts, you should take care of the problem as soon as possible. Taking action as soon as possible may save you from having to replace all of your pipes during a full car service near me.
2. Rusty disc brake callipers
A disc brake calliper is a component of your vehicle that squeezes the brake pads against the discs to stop it. You may notice a soft or spongy sensation when braking, which could indicate corroded disc brake callipers. Fluid leaking from damaged piston seals on the inside of your rear brake callipers can make them feel spongy when you brake. If there is a leak, there will be wet spots near the outside edge of the pavement where oil has dripped onto the pavement. If the issue is simply a worn-out seal, simply replacing it will solve the problem. However, if rust develops and damages the callipers, don't put off replacing them for too long.
3. Faulty master cylinder
A soft brake pedal can be caused by a worn master cylinder. Because a car's braking system is hydraulic, braking power from your foot must pass through cables and hoses before reaching the brakes. The master cylinder compresses the brake fluid, generating hydraulic pressure for the front and rear brakes. As a result, pressing the pedals brings them to a complete stop. When a vehicle's master cylinder wears out, it may be unable to provide enough pressure for hard braking. This will eventually lead to a soft pedal feel or a total lack of brake resistance (brake failure). When the master cylinder fails, there will be an internal or external brake fluid leak caused by a faulty piston seal. In this case, make an appointment with an experienced technician for service. A proper diagnosis must be performed by an expert.
4. Wheel cylinders that are rusted and leaking
Keep an eye out for a leaking wheel cylinder. Wheel cylinder pistons and brake shoes should be located inside the drum if your vehicle has drum brakes on the rear wheels. The pistons push the shoes against the drum, allowing the brake pedal to work. Corrosion in wheel cylinders can result in holes and cracks. Because hydraulic pressure cannot build up when brake fluid leaks through a hole, the brake pedal becomes soft.
5. Faulty rear brake shoes
For drum brakes, the rear brake shoes must make contact with the metal "brake drum" in order for the brake pedal to slow the wheel. The gap between the brake shoes becomes too large when they wear out or break. They no longer make contact with the surface of the drum, resulting in a softer braking sensation. If it's an adjustment problem, you can fix it by applying the parking brake every now and then. The brake shoes are automatically adjusted when the parking brake is engaged. If the shoes are damaged, consult a mechanic when next in for car service near me.
6. Failure of an ABS hydraulic assembly
An ABS system includes an ABS modulator, which is composed of several solenoids and valves. One or more valves may fail due to a corroded component or the failure of an internal part. Sludge in brake fluid can also prevent a valve from properly functioning, resulting in a loose pedal. It's an easy fix. Bring your vehicle to a trustworthy garage for an inspection of all ABS components, including lines, valves, and pumps. They'll be able to identify any problems quickly.
7. Bleeding the brakes
You may notice a soft brake pedal after bleeding the brakes. Air can become trapped within the hydraulic brake fluid system during the bleeding process, particularly in the brake line, causing the pedal to feel spongy when pressed. Air can enter the system when brake lines or hoses are replaced. To resolve this issue, flush the brake fluid from the system or bleed the system with a vacuum. Clean and fresh brake fluid protects various components in the braking system and ensures that all parts function smoothly for an extended period of time.