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Brake pedal sagging / spongy

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Brake pedals are made to be stepped upon and when you do and it behaves in an unusual way, it is signaling damage within. Once you find the fault, replace it immediately, especially in the GCC or at least in UAE considering the weather conditions where extreme heat plays its trick on the brake discs life and normal wear and tear.

This type of behavior often called as brake pedal sagging and when you do realize that there is a problem with the most essential part of your car, check for air in your brake lines. It could be because of a leak, a loose bleeder screw or even a leaking seal on the master cylinder.

 To fix the air bubbles, you have to bleed the brakes i.e. a procedure to remove air. This can be done by starting from the master cylinder, the driver-side rear, passenger front and finally driver side front. You will need somebody who can help you with the brake pedals. When there is pressure on the brake pedal, open the open the bleeder screw and then close it immediately before the letting the pedal go, else air will get back in.

If your brakes are low, pump the brake pedal a couple of times as you drive. If it makes the car stop, you do not need a brake replacement; you need a brake adjustment or a DOT3 or DOT4 brake fluid is needed. Before going for repair, consult an expert about bleeding the brakes procedures. 

On your own, you could check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. If it’s low, there's a leak and adding fluid is the only option and look for leaks thereafter. If the level is fine, check the adjustment of the rear brakes. 

A way to know if there is a leak is by how the car stops. As an example, if your car pulls to the right, the left brake has a problem. So the fluid is not being applied to the left caliper efficiently. 

If the pedal goes to the floor, it means that there is no pressure in the master cylinder and the system has a leak. If the pedal is soft and goes further than normal, it means that the brake fluid leak is somewhere in the system. If you have a grainy feeling with the pedal, then probably the brake pads are worn out and if the pedals are extremely hard, then check the brake booster.

Do not push the brake pedal to the floor while bleeding brakes. Try placing a block of wood under the pedal. It is also advised to vacuum old fluid out and replace with fresh fluid every 3 years or 60,000 kms. This helps keep debris out of the system and prevent damage to the master cylinder. 

Always check you brake discs and even if one is worn out, it could cause braking issues. 

If you need more help, or need specific answer for any question then try the ‘Carnity Forum’ (http://carnity.com/) section or find car businesses near you with the Carnity ‘Business listing’ (http://carnity.com/business_listing) section.

Edited by Carnity

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