What Should You Do If Your Brake Pedal Feels Strange?
When you get behind the wheel of your car, you'll be used to the way that it performs. You will certainly be accustomed to depressing the brake pedal and feeling pressure pushing back to signify that everything is working as it should. Yet sometimes, you may tap the pedal, and it may plunge towards the floor instead, leading to some consternation. What can be happening in this situation, and what should you do to compensate?
Dealing with Inconsistent Brakes
This reaction suggests that there may be unwanted air in the system. It'll compromise the ability of the hydraulic fluid and may make the act of braking quite inconsistent. Usually, you'll be able to restore normal operation if you pump the pedal several times. However, you can't allow this to happen too often as it may prove dangerous if you need to brake suddenly.
Air can get into the system through faulty hoses, connections, or the brake fluid reservoir. Always ensure that the cap on top of the reservoir is tightly attached, and never leave it off while you may be checking the fluid level.
The flexible hoses that connect the system are made from reinforced materials but can degrade as time passes. They are also somewhat vulnerable to road debris and can be damaged, which may allow unwanted air to enter.
If air gets in, it will be accompanied by a certain amount of moisture, which is also problematic. This moisture may build up and eventually boil due to the very high temperatures. Again, this will interfere with the ability of the fluid to do its job, and you may not get the type of performance you expect when you press the pedal. In this scenario, you should take the vehicle to a mechanic or call for a tow truck if you're not happy about driving it in this condition.
Replacing or Repairing
A mechanic should be able to fix the problem by replacing the brake fluid and bleeding the system. They will also check the integrity of the hoses and replace them as necessary. Usually, they will also replace the brake pads, as these are designed to wear out in a certain amount of time.
Dealing with a Dodgy Pedal
So, if your brake pedal feels spongy or may fall to the floor when you try to decelerate, you may have unwanted air and moisture in your system. Call a mechanic as soon as possible for their advice on brake repairs.