Updated: Sep 19, 2021
4 Reasons Why Your Brake Pedal May Go Down to the Floor
September 16, 2021
Don't let this happen to you. The brake system on your car helps ensure your automobile can come to a full and timely stop. If your brakes are worn or not properly functioning, your car may take more time to stop or may not be able to stop altogether, both of which can lead to an accident. One of the signs that your brake system is not properly functioning is the brake pedal being soft or spongy, which means the pedal goes down to the floor when pushed. If you notice your brake pedal is soft, you may wonder what part of the brake system causes this issue. Brake pedals can go down to the floor for various reasons. Learn about four of these reasons. 1. YOU HAVE AIR IN THE BRAKE LINES One of the main reasons why your brake pedal may become soft is because you have air in your brake lines. Air can make its way into your brake lines when repairs are done, when fluid is added, or as your car operates. Brake fluid is responsible for traveling through your brake lines and providing the force needed to make your brakes stop. Air does not provide any force that helps your brakes stop. As such, when air is in your brake lines, your brake pedal can be pushed all the way down to the ground due to the lack of force. If you have air in your brake lines, you will need to have the brake lines bled to remove the air. 2. YOU HAVE A BRAKE FLUID LEAK Another common reason why your brake pedal may go down to the floor is because you are running low on brake fluid. The most common reason this happens is because you have a leak in one of your lines. When you are ready to leave for work after your car has sat for a prolonged period of time, check the ground underneath your car for puddles. Brake fluid can range from light yellow to dark brown, depending on its age. It will also feel slick and oily, much like vegetable or canola oil does. If you have a brake fluid leak, an auto repair shop will have to determine which line is leaking and replace the line. 3. YOUR BRAKE BOOSTER IS FAILING OR IS BAD The third reason why your brake pedal may go down to the floor is because your brake booster is failing or is bad. This commonly occurs due to age and wear. Those who slam on their brakes often or drive in stop-andgo traffic may experience this problem faster than someone who doesn't stop as often. Your brake booster provides power to the braking system, helping to engage your brakes when you push on the pedal. When the system is failing, your brakes may not engage when you push the pedal, causing either a soft pedal or a pedal that doesn't seem to operate. A mechanic can diagnose your brake problems and determine if the brake booster is causing the spongy pedal. If the booster is the issue, replacing it is the only option. 4. YOUR MASTER CYLINDER IS GOING BAD The final reason why your brake pedal may be soft is because your master cylinder is failing. A master cylinder may fail due to age and wear. The master cylinder is the main valve that pumps brake fluid into your brake lines. When the cylinder is failing, your lines do not get the brake fluid needed. In turn, there is no pressure, which allows your brake to go down to the floor. If your master cylinder is going bad, a mechanic may be able to repair the master cylinder or a replacement may be needed, depending on the age and condition of the cylinder. If you notice your brake pedal is going down to the floor, you need to have your brakes and brake system inspected as soon as possible. At Embury Mobile Mechanics, we can help you with your brake needs. Call today, 1(242)359-7231 , to schedule your brake inspection.