Why does my brake pedal feel spongy?

There are so many things to take into account when it comes to looking after your car; from checking the engine oil level and lights, to refilling the screen wash and tire pressure, but probably the most important part of vehicle maintenance is making sure that your brakes are in top condition.

A properly working brake pedal should feel firm and stable under the foot when you press on it. But when the brake pedal feels unsteady or you find yourself pressing it harder than usual for the car to stop, it's an indication of spongy or mushy brakes.

But what exactly causes the brake to become spongy in the first place? Read on to discover the possible reasons.

Old or Low Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is essential in bringing your car to a swift halt when needed. But over time, this fluid becomes old and wears thin, thereby affecting the brake performance of the car. So it is important to have your brakes regularly inspected to prevent any complications.

Air in the Brake Lines

More often than not, spongy brakes can be put down to air in the brake lines. Your car's braking system needs an even flow of air for the brake fluid to do its job properly, so uneven air pressure can throw it off balance, causing the brake pedals to become soft. Air in the brake lines could also be due to low or leaking brake fluid.

Damaged or Leaking Brake Line

When moisture in the brakes is combined with road salt, it's a recipe for rust, which can cause the brake lines to weaken, leak and even break. Any damage from a car accident can also erode the brake lines, causing them to collapse and creating further complications.

Damaged Disc Brake Caliper

The friction and heat generated by braking will eventually cause the disc brake caliper to wear out. Tell-tale signs of a damaged disc brake caliper include your car pulling to one side whilst your drive, or a squeaking sound when braking.

Cylinder Wear

The master cylinder plays a key role in evenly distributing air pressure and feeding the brake fluid to the front and rear brakes. Like any vehicle component, the cylinder wears thin over time, causing the seals to leak or break.

Spongy brakes are never a good sign and could place you and other road users at a real risk of an accident, as it prevents the vehicle from stopping in time, or worse still, fail to stop completely.

If you need a brake repair or are due for an inspection of your braking system, don't delay - bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!

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