One of the most common questions we receive at our brake shop in Gary, IN is whether it’s bad if the brake pedal drops all the way down to the floor. The short answer is “yes,” but exactly how bad this issue is for your vehicle depends on a variety of factors. As a general rule, it’s best to talk to your mechanic about issues you’re having with your brakes, and what could potentially be causing your brake pedal to push all the way down to the floor.
Here are a few examples of some of the potential causes you should look at, and have a professional mechanic address as soon as possible, even if your vehicle is actually coming to a stop without any other noticeable issues:
- Loss of brake fluid: This is one of the most common causes of the brake pedal going to the floor. If you run out of brake fluid, the brakes simply will not work as designed. Fortunately, this is a problem that is very easy to notice. If you see brake fluid underneath the car after it’s been parked for some time, there is a leak in the system causing that brake fluid to empty. You should resolve the issue immediately to ensure your brakes are in good working order.
- Problems with the brake master cylinder: The master cylinder is the part of the brake that compresses the brake fluid. By placing the pressure on the brake fluid, the cylinder forces the brakes to be applied to the wheels. However, if the master cylinder is malfunctioning or not working at all, you’re going to experience a significant loss of braking power. This might result in your brake pedal occasionally going all the way down to the floor.
- Driver error: The more you use your brakes, the hotter your brake fluid will start to get. This means the brake fluid will start to become even more liquidized. The hotter, thinner and more liquidized that brake fluid gets, the more force it needs for the master cylinder to pressurize it to the point where the brakes can be applied. This means your braking system might not be able to generate the proper amount of force for braking. In some cases, your driving style could be to blame for this issue. You shouldn’t be riding the brakes frequently, and should always take off your parking brake before you hit the road. There are some circumstances in which you might feel like you need to ride the brakes more, such as traveling long distances downhill, but you can still adjust your driving to make it easier on your brakes.
- Malfunctioning brake booster: The brake booster is a part that uses vacuum pressure to amplify the force being applied to your brake pedal. A bad booster means a lack of force and a failure to activate the master cylinder properly.
For more tips about resolving common brake issues, contact Miller Brakes and Mufflers, Inc. to discuss brake service in Gary, IN.
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