When driving down the road, the last thing you want to feel under your foot is a brake pedal that depresses to the floor. It should not take great effort to stop the vehicle.
Mechanical issues with cars can take a toll on your budget, but a faulty brake system can cause you much more in terms of injury or death. These types of problems can be properly repaired by a professional technician.
Let’s take a look at some of the causes of a soft brake pedal and what to do if it occurs.
Common Causes of Soft Brake Pedal
Caliper piston seals are in place to prevent your brake fluid from leaking from the system. When one of these seals is damaged or becomes brittle with time, they will allow fluid to escape from the unit. After the loss of fluid, your brake system will not have enough hydraulic pressure to manage the braking properly. You will find yourself pumping the brakes to stop your car.
Leaking caliper seals will leave spots of fluid under your car. If you see any evidence of fluid leaks, bring your Volkswagen in for inspection of the brake system.
Air in the brake lines usually occurs anytime the system is opened to the atmosphere, such as when a DIY owner attempts to save money by changing their own brake pads or any other brake repairs. The air within the system has the same effect as not having enough fluid for hydraulic support.
Once air is introduced to the lines, you will need a professional technician to remove the air and inspect the system components, such as the master cylinder, to ensure no damage has occurred.
Moisture in brake fluid can build over time if your brake system is not properly serviced, as per Volkswagen guidelines and specifications. When too much moisture enters your brake fluid, it can change the physical properties, causing damage to your brake systems components. This condition is solved by making all of your scheduled maintenance appointments.
Leaking or damaged brake lines are other possible issues that cause a soft brake pedal. Brake lines run the length of both sides of your car from front to back and can be susceptible to damage, especially if you drive on rough terrain. Once the break lines become damaged, they can leak or become pinched, cutting off any hydraulic flow.
Low brake fluid can occur if your Volkswagen is not taken to certified technicians for its proper preventive maintenance requirements. Some owners think they are saving money by skipping scheduled checkups and maintenance, but they mostly pay more to repair the damages that occur when not fulfilling the requirements. Without the proper checks, your brake fluid may be low while operating, leading to a soft brake pedal.
Finally, a faulty master cylinder may be the cause of your soft brake pedal. A master cylinder is the heart of your braking system, and when they malfunction, your entire unit is affected. If the master cylinder completely fails while you are driving, you will have a catastrophic brake failure in your vehicle.
Soft Brake Pedals and Your Safety
As discussed in the opening, a soft brake pedal is an indication that something is mechanically wrong within your brake system. While other mechanical or electrical issues can be a nuisance and take time to cause further damage to your Volkswagen, a failed brake unit will be hazardous to yours and others’ safety. Do not continue to operate your vehicle with a soft brake pedal.
World Class Auto Repairs will Fix a Soft Brake Pedal
When you press on the brake pedal and feel sponginess, bring your Volkswagen to World Class Auto Repairs in Boca Raton, FL. We specialize in the repair and service of Volkswagen and other European vehicles.
By giving us the responsibility of servicing your vehicle, we can help you keep it safely on the road and running in top condition. Our friendly staff of ASE-certified professionals has years of knowledge and experience servicing and repairing vehicles like yours. Call our reputable and reliable shop to plan your next service or repair.