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Your brakes are probably the most important part of your car. If your car is having a braking problem, whether it’s weak brakes, a mushy pedal, grinding sounds – whatever your brake problem is, you need to troubleshoot and repair it as soon as possible.
Diagnosing the problem.
If you step on the brake pedal and it feels like it’s going too far down before you start to slow, you might have the following problems:
Low Brake Fluid Level.
Check your brake fluid. If it’s low, top it off to the mark on the side of the reservoir.
Contaminated Brake Fluid.
Even though your brakes operate in a closed system, contaminants can still work their way into the system. Air can enter the system through the smallest hole, and you can end up with water in the system from condensation and other means. There’s not really any way to check for this, but bleeding your brakes will remove the bad stuff. It then needs replacing with new fluid.
Worn Brake Pads.
Your brakes should never wear low enough to cause your brake pedal to feel low, they’ll scream at you before then. But if they do get very low, you might have this problem. Replace your brake pads as soon as possible. Of course, this can be avoided with regular brake inspection.
Bad Brake Power Boost Unit.
Finally, if your brake booster goes bad you’ll have low brake pedal issues. Most brake boosters are vacuum controlled, so a special vacuum measurement device that connects to the brake booster is needed to check it. If it’s bad, you’ll have to replace the boost unit.