Brake-related issues can be nerve-wracking when you’re driving at high speed and find it difficult to reach a complete, timely stop. If the brakes are malfunctioning or completely worn out, it may take more time to stop your car or, at times, may not even stop, resulting in serious accidents.
Normally, brake pedals are stiff and work perfectly when you want your car to come to a stop. However, it can be dangerous if you press the brake pedal and find it soft, spongy, and sinking to the floor.
Even when the car is stopped and if the brakes touch the floor or are not as firm as they used to be, this indicates you are having serious trouble with the brakes.
Brake pedal sinks happen due to numerous reasons. In this post, we will find out why brake pedals hit the floor and how to resolve this issue.
Will Brake Pedal Sink When You Start The Engine?
Even if you ignore minor issues related to your vehicle, it’s advisable to get it fixed as soon as possible when it comes to brake-related problems. If you find your brake pedal touching the floor even when the engine is running, it is most likely due to brake fluid leaks.
If your car gradually loses the braking pressure, check if there is any leakage in the brake fluid line or other related parts. If so, as time passes, the brake pedal will stop functioning completely due to the leakage if it is not fixed.
However, if you cannot find any leaks in these parts and still the pedal sinks to the floor, the culprit must be vacuum leaks in the master cylinder or brake booster.
In such cases, it’s advisable not to ignore the problem and keep the car running for long. But how do you find the exact cause of the brake pedal issue? Keep reading to find out some of the possible reasons why your brake pedal is mushy and keeps going down to the floor.
Common Reasons For Brake Pedals To Hit The Floor
Though brake fluid leaks are the common reasons why brakes keep going sinking, in some cases, it can be due to mechanical issues. Diagnosing and pinpointing the exact cause can be challenging, but it’s not complex.
To make things easier, we have listed out some of the possible reasons why your mushy brake pedal keeps going down to the floor.
1. Brake Fluid Leakages
Brake fluid is crucial in sustaining and increasing brake power. If there is a leak, the brake system will gradually lose pressure causing the pedals to sink.
Symptoms for brake fluid leaks:
- If this is the case, you will notice your dashboard’s brake light warning signal.
- You will also find little to zero resistance when you press down the brake pedal, indicating a lack of sufficient brake fluid to circulate through the system.
- Also, you will notice oily brownish liquid on the ground below your car.
How to fix it?
- Open the hood and check the fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir using a metal pipe. If the level is low, fill it up using the right brake fluid.
- If the reservoir is empty, the system is bleeding and requires immediate repair.
Make sure to check the fluid levels often, and if it keeps dropping constantly, you need to look out for the underlying issue instead of refilling it up again. Head over to the nearest automobile repair center to determine which brake line is leaking and get it fixed immediately.
2. Faulty Master Brake Cylinder
If the brake pedal issue is not due to fluctuations in the brake fluid levels, then the major reason for your brakes’ malfunctioning might be the defective master cylinder.
The master brake cylinder plays a significant role in transporting the brake fluid to the pistons, which exerts pressure on the speeding vehicle and brings it to a stop.
Symptoms of defective master cylinder:
- If the master cylinder stops functioning or works only at certain times, you may end up losing the braking power. Without adequate braking pressure, you will not experience firmness on the brake pedal, and it keeps sinking to the bottom.
- The pedal needs frequent pumping to prevent your vehicle from moving forward.
- No indication of brake warning lights on the dashboard.
How to fix it?
Master brake cylinders tend to wear down over time. If your master cylinder is defective, a professional mechanic can inspect and fix the issue or get it replaced in no time.
3. Defective Brake Booster
A faulty brake booster might be another reason why your brake pedal is soft and hits the floor. However, you may find your car is rolling over and coming to a stop in this case.
It mostly occurs due to wear and tear when you apply pressure on the pedals more often. The defective brake booster is common among drivers stuck in heavy traffic who have to use the brakes more frequently.
Symptoms of faulty brake booster:
- Due to the non-functional brake booster, you will have to exert lots of pressure to reduce the speed of your automobile and bring it to a stop.
- If the pedal becomes firmer and has more pressure when it reaches the floor, the issue is most likely related to the brake booster.
- Indication of the warning lights on the dashboard.
- Hissing noise when you apply pressure on the brake pedal system.
- When left unattended for long, you may start noticing brake fluid leaks below your car on the ground.
How to fix it?
As soon as you notice the symptoms, take your car to the nearest mechanic to diagnose the issue and replace the brake booster immediately.
Brake Pedal Sinks: What To Do?
Usually, brake pedals are sensitive and get pushed down by even a slight amount of pressure, enabling you to bring the car to a stop immediately. If the brake pedal is not firm and hits the floor even with a slight amount of pressure, it can lead to major accidents for yourself and other drivers.
To fix this issue, get the brake pedal examined by your professional automobile dealer or local mechanic without any further delay.