When Your Brake Pedal Feels Spongy

When Your Brake Pedal Feels Spongy

When Your Brake Pedal Feels SpongyHere at Mountain View Automotive in Thornton, we can provide the advice and repairs needed when your brake pedal feels spongy. To ensure your safety and prevent a potential accident, it’s important to recognize a problem early and bring your vehicle to our certified mechanics right away. We’ll inspect your entire brake system, pinpoint the issue and get it fixed properly.

Typically, when you press the brake pedal, it should feel firm and there should be minimal travel. Your vehicle should stop easily and without much effort on your part. It shouldn’t feel soft or mushy, and the pedal shouldn’t sink to the floor. When your brake pedal feels spongy, this indicates a serious problem with your brakes that needs immediate attention.

Common Causes of a Soft Brake Pedal

So, what’s triggering that disconcerting squishiness in your brakes?

What you normally feel when you press the brake pedal is actually the pressure caused by brake fluid being pushed through the system, starting at the master cylinder then traveling down to the calipers and drums, where the pistons are activated so that the braking mechanism can take place.

When the fluid is flowing correctly, your brakes feel nice and firm. However, any of the following issues could cause the feeling of spongy, soft brakes:

  • Master Cylinder – Over time, a master cylinder and its components will begin to wear out and even leak fluid. This can cause a drop in the firm brake pressure you normally feel in the pedal.
  • Air in the Brake Lines – A bubble of air can cause that spongy feeling and your lines will need to be bled to remove it. This can be caused by low brake fluid, even a bad brake pad replacement.
  • Caliper Damage – If a caliper’s piston seal begins to leak, the result is a spongy pedal. If the leak extends to the rotors or pads, you’ll likely experience even more problems with your brakes.
  • Broken Brake Line – A rubber or metal brake line can sustain damage that causes it to bend and break, resulting in reduced fluid flow or a major leak. Both can cause a spongy pedal and worse.
  • Contaminated Fluid – When was your last brake fluid change? If it’s been a while, fluid (such as condensation) can be absorbed through rubber brake lines and interfere with a braking system.

As you can see, there is no one thing that causes brakes to feel soft or spongy. You’ll need to bring the vehicle to a qualified mechanic for a complete inspection of the system, including the master cylinder, brake lines, calipers and pistons, as well as rotors and brake pads. Working methodically through each component of the braking system, they will find and fix any of the issues mentioned above.

Bringing your vehicle to Mountain View Automotive in Thornton when your brake pedal feels spongy will not only protect you from getting in an accident but potentially address a minor problem that could snowball into something much bigger and more expensive. Contact us today to schedule your brake repair appointment or feel free to stop by the shop. We’re here to help!

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