Close-up of a vehicle's gas and brake pedals

Your brake pedal may signal that something is wrong with a car’s brakes. Usually, a brake pedal will feel soft and firm when pressed down upon. When a pedal begins to feel rigid and hard to press down, there may be something wrong. It’s a scary feeling knowing the brakes are difficult to use, but that does not mean they have failed. Let’s figure out what may be the cause and what to do.

1. Check Brake Fluid

The brake fluid in a car should be replaced regularly. As you utilize the brakes, the fluid depletes. Over time, the fluid will turn from a golden tint to a harsher brown. This is all due to dirt, moisture, and other organic elements collected over months. This will thicken the fluid and turn from a liquid into a solid, eventually causing a clog in the brakes. If this happens, the fluid will need to be replaced as soon as possible so the brakes can be restored back to their normal function.

2. Vacuum Issues

Brakes have a booster system. This system gauges the power of our foot to the brake and maintains control of the car. If this system fails, then the driver will find pressing on the brake is harder than usual. The boost benefit will be gone, and the driver will have to readjust themselves when braking. This can cause a serious accident, so the system will need to be replaced to maintain safety.

3. Brake Pads Need Replacing

Brake pads have full control over how we slow down as drivers. They determine if we can do it quickly or slowly. This means the pads are constantly used and will eventually wear down over time due to friction. If you begin to hear a screeching sound as you break, then it is time to get the pads checked before you cannot stop as fast as you need to.

4. Calibration Error

The calibration to determine the quality of your brake pads may be off. Just like brake fluid, the calipers may have picked up extra dirt and mud. They may also break all together due to other issues related to the vehicle. If the caliper fails to release a brake pad, then the pedal will be hard to push down on. It’s important to get your calipers readjusted and checked at your next service check, because it can affect the reading of the brake pads.

Key Takeaways

There can be many possibilities for your brakes feeling firm at the push. It is best to visit your local dealer or service agent to find the root cause. Many of these issues can be detected on your own if one is familiar with cars. Although you may be able to identify the problem, it is best to leave the fixing up to the professionals. Brakes are extremely important in your safety, so get them checked as soon as possible before putting yourself or others at risk. Next time you feel that your brakes are hard to press down on, figure out the issue and take your car in for service.

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CategoryBrake Repair

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