Reasons Why Brake Pedal Goes Down Further Than Normal When Braking | all about cars

Reasons Why Brake Pedal Goes Down Further Than Normal When Braking

When the brake pedal is press and you notice that it goes down further than normal or the car seems longer to stop, there are two possible reasons that causing this kind of problem. Its either the brake fluid is very low or the brake shoe worn out.


Possible cause of car problem:
(1) Low level of brake fluid
(2) Worn out brake lining

Car problem diagnosis:
(1) To confirm the reason why brake pedal goes down further than normal, open the hood of the car then locate the brake fluid reservoir. Usually the brake reservoir is located at the top of the brake master cylinder.

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Brake Fluid Reservoir

(2) Check the level of the brake fluid, the level should be sufficient enough, there is MAX and MIN indicator on the reservoir, brake fluid level must be in between the MAX and MIN. If the brake fluid is below  MIN the brake pedal will travel further than usual before it will stop, the lower the brake fluid the lower the pedal will travel.If the fluid level is extremely low, you must check the brake system for any leak.

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Brake Fluid Level
  
(3) If the brake fluid is sufficient enough, then the problem is is a worn brake lining because when the lining worn out the pedal will travel further than normal. The rear brake is usually the one that causing this problem, because rear brake is drum type that is when the pedal is press the brake shoe is also press inside the drum.

 
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Rear Brake Drum Assembly Image Credit

Simply add the required amount of brake fluid to correct the problem, but the reason on why the  brake fluid level become low is another problem to find out. Now, when the lining or the shoe is worn out the pedal need to  travel further so that the lining will press inside the drum and stop the car.

What to do?
(1) When the cause is low brake fluid
Just add enough brake fluid on the reservoir.  Use DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid, usually there is a label on the top of the reservoir cap on what type of brake fluid to be used.

When replacing or refilling brake fluid always use the same type of fluid  as indicated on the reservoir cap, using the wrong type or mixing one type from another can cause brake malfunction during high temperature operation or hard braking. Also consider checking the brake system for any leak because how did the brake fluid level become low if there is no leak on the system.

(2) When the cause is a worn brake lining
Just replace the brake lining. If you do not know how to do it, bring the car to repair shop that specialized in brake repair and let the mechanic to do the job for you, but of course you have to pay some cash.

When talking to the mechanic tell the mechanic to also check the drum because more often than not, the drum is needed to be machined before replacing the brake shoe with a new one.

Suggested Articles:

What can cause a spongy brake pedal?

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