Austin Auto Repair

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Why Does My Brake Pedal Feel Spongy?

Your vehicle's brake pedal should be firm and sturdy when you press down on it. So, if it feels spongy and soft, there must be a problem. This component plays a crucial role in controlling your vehicle, so the unnerving sensation can compromise your vehicle's overall performance and safety. You must therefore have your car checked immediately and the issue resolved before getting back on the road. Here are some of the common symptoms of spongy brake pedals:

  • The brake pedal is always sinking
  • You have to constantly pump your pedal to prevent it from creeping ahead
  • The brakes warning light comes on

Causes of Spongy Brakes

Air is a Major Culprit

It is not unusual for air to find its way into the brake lines interfering with the smooth flow of the brake fluid. Besides, your vehicle's brake fluid might have absorbed moisture with time, especially when your bleeder valve loosens. In such a case, a mechanical technician will perform brake bleeding (flushing the brakes) to eliminate the moisture and keep the old fluid from boiling, which can also lead to spongy brakes.

Damaged and Leaking Brake

Generally, brake lines are made of steel tubing, which can rust from moisture or road salt or get damaged due to wear and tear. Damaged brake lines will allow the brake fluid to leak, leading to low hydraulic pressure and causing a soft pedal. Once your technician establishes this problem, they will perform a two-step fix, including repairing the leak and performing a brake bleeding to correct it.

Worn Out Master Cylinder

The master cylinder is among the primary elements of your vehicle's braking system. It plays a crucial role in holding the brake fluid and transferring it to the front and rear brakes. Eventually, the cylinder seals might leak or break, affecting your car's brake fluid pressure. Ultimately, the brake pedals will fail and travel all the way to the floor. Your mechanic will replace the master cylinder and flush your brakes to correct the issue.

Other Causes of Spongy Brake Pedals Include:

  • Low brake fluid
  • Brake caliper damage
  • Leaking wheel cylinder
  • Misaligned rear brake shoes
  • ABS modulator problems

When you have a problem with your vehicle's braking system, bringing it to a stop might be quite a problem. Also known as mushy or squishy brakes, spongy brakes can be dangerous if not timely corrected. If you need brake repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our state-of-art auto repair shop today!