Why Does My Brake Pedal Feel Stiff?

The brake pedals are designed to provide the driver with full control over the amount of pressure applied to the brakes. In certain instances, the brake pedal may become stiff and difficult to depress. Most of the time, the car will still stop properly, but the driver may feel something strange. The problem should be addressed by a mechanic.

Below are the common causes of stiff brakes:

1. Faulty Brake Booster

The brake booster may not supply enough vacuum pressure. This might happen if the diaphragm or check valve breaks. You can check if the brake booster is the issue by turning off the car and repeatedly pressing the brake pedal. Continue to press the brake pedal and restart the car. The brake pedal should smoothly go down if the booster works. If the stiffness continues, it means the booster is faulty.

2. Vacuum pump or Power Steering Pump Failure

The cause of a stiff brake pedal might vary depending on the kind of brake booster a car has. Some car manufacturers use hydraulic brake booster in which the power steering pump generates pressure rather than the engine vacuum. Some brake boosters are powered by the intake manifold, while others are powered by an electrically or mechanically driven pump.

In cars with vacuum pump or hydraulic brake booster, a stiff brake pedal can be caused by a broken electric pump, low power steering fluid, or a missing serpentine belt.

3. Vacuum Hose Leaks

Although it is more likely that the booster as a whole is malfunctioning, there are occasions when a single component is to blame. It's possible that the booster vacuum line hose may start leaking at some point, which would reduce the effectiveness of the vacuum assist.

4. Incorrect Spare Parts

In the event that you've just had a booster changed and your brake pedal is still stiff, it's possible that the new parts were the wrong size. Inexperienced mechanics often make the error of installing a vacuum hose or a brake booster that is too heavy or small in diameter.

5. Seized Caliper

Seized brake calipers may cause stiff brakes. Brake calipers are vital to a car's braking system. When you brake, they force the brake pads against the rotor. Brake calipers or screws might get stuck, preventing them from engaging and setting brake pads appropriately.

6. Check valve failure

Another problem is a check valve malfunctioning or breaking. The check valve is what lets air out of the booster but stops air from getting in.

How Can We Help?

Maintaining your braking system is crucial since doing so might increase its lifespan. When necessary, this entails changing the braking rotors, pads, and other parts such as the brake hoses and lines. If you need brake repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to H-Tek Auto Care today!

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