At some point in everybody’s driving career, brake issues will crop up. Sometimes these moments can be terrifying, like a sudden loss of brake pressure while driving. Most of the time, however, brake issues are little more than a minor nuisance that should be taken care of before the problem gets bigger. The following list will go through the most common brake problems and what may be causing them.
Brake Pedal Too Low
If the brake pedal sits too low and won’t return to its position next to the gas, it could indicate a few different issues. A low pedal is caused by a lack of pressure in the braking system. Without enough pressure in the brake system, the hydraulics that amplifies the force of the pedal being pushed won’t work. First, check the brake fluid. If it is low, top it up to the appropriate line on the side of the reservoir.
If your fluid is topped up and looking good, check to see if you have some contaminants in the system. Contaminants, in this case, is anything that is not brake-fluid. While the brakes are a closed system, it is still possible for air pockets, schmutz from the brake lines and even some water from condensation to get in. To clear any contaminants, bleed the brake lines then replace the fluid.
If the fluid is clean and at appropriate levels, it could be a bad power boost unit. This piece of the system takes the pressure from the brake pedal and amplifies it in the hydraulic lines to give the driver the strength to stop. This unit works using a vacuum system that if it loses pressure can cause soft brakes and a low pedal. To verify this is the problem, a mechanic will need to diagnose it with a tool used for checking the vacuum pressure and replace the unit.