Your car brakes, just like any other component in your car, may pick up a problem or two down the line. Since the brakes are an integral part of your vehicle, it's important to know when they start failing so that you make plans for brake repairs early enough. Fortunately, there are many ways your car will warn you that you need brake service. One of the easiest ways to identify faulty brakes is paying careful attention to the behaviour of the brake pedal. A spongy brake pedal is one of the issues you may have and here is what it means.
There's Air in Your Brake Lines
Air in your brake lines is the first culprit for spongy brake pedals. If your brake pedal feels mushy when you depress it and you find yourself having to apply more effort to slow your vehicle down or bring it to a halt, it's usually because of the effect of the air in your brake lines. The brakes rely on hydraulic pressure to function, so when you apply pressure on your brake pedal, it's equally transmitted through the brake fluid to the brake callipers, the rotors, and the brake pads. Air in the brake lines will interfere with the balance of the hydraulic pressure, leading to the spongy feeling on the brake pedal.
Air in the brake lines is usually remedied through a process known as bleeding.
You Have A Brake Fluid Leak
Brake fluid leaks can also cause your brake pedal to feel spongy. First, brake fluid leaks are often a result of broken brake lines, which means they can easily allow air to get inside. Low levels of brake fluid will lead to a loss of hydraulic pressure, resulting in your brake pedal feeling spongy or soft when you step on it. If you notice an almost clear fluid with a yellow tint to it underneath your car, have your mechanic inspect the brake lines for leaks.
The Master Cylinder Is Worn
The master cylinder acts as the heart of your vehicle's brake system. It holds the brake fluid and pushes it through the brake lines. Your vehicle's master cylinder may wear out with time, and when it does, the brake fluid can leak. Just like with broken brake lines, a drop in the brake fluid due to a leak will result in insufficient hydraulic pressure and a spongy feel in the brake pedal.