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Brake Pedal Goes to Floor but Still Stops

The leak on the brake of your car creates pressure loss on the brake system, because of the leak in the system the building pressure on the system is not enough causing the brake pedal goes to the floor when the pedal is pressed during brake application:

Car trouble symptoms
When you apply the brake the pedal goes to the floor, then you will notice the brake warning light on the dashboard to light.

The reason why the brake pedal goes to the floor
1. Low brake fluid.
2. Too much wear of brake pads or brake shoes.
3. Leak somewhere on the system

Car troubleshooting
If the brake pedal goes to the floor but still stops, the first is to check the brake fluid level.

Park your car on level ground, do not forget to engage the parking brake.
The first thing to do is to check the brake fluid level. Open the hood of your car and locate the brake master cylinder reservoir usually it is located attached to the brake booster as shown. If you are having difficulty finding the reservoir, you may refer to your car owner’s manual. Once you locate the reservoir, check the fluid level, usually, two lines mark on the reservoir with the word “MAX” and “MIN” to indicate the maximum and minimum level of fluid. The fluid must be within the “MAX” and “MIN” level while looking at it, rock the vehicle slightly in order to see where the fluid level is at. Do not remove the reservoir cap for this. If the reservoir is below “MIN”, probably there is a leak somewhere in the system.

Next, check the brake system for any leaks, check the brake master cylinder for any leak. Observe all around the master cylinder if the body is wet with brake fluid, or if there is a brake fluid drip from the master cylinder or the front of the brake booster. Use a flashlight while looking for any sign of a leak. Look at the backside of each wheel for an obvious sign of a leak, check also the flex hose of the brake line, and touch the hose if there is a trace of fluid or if the flex hose is wet with fluid. Replace the flex hose if there is a leak.

If you found that the backside of the tire is wet with fluid the possibility is that the brake caliper is leaking, if this is the case replace the caliper another possibility is that the wheel cylinder is leaking and need to be replaced. Leaking the caliper and wheel cylinder can both make the reservoir lacking brake fluid and will cause the brake pedal to goes on the floor. If the brake fluid is low the possibility is too much wear on the brake pads or brake shoe is causing problems.

If the brake fluid level is low then the system is lacking brake fluid as indicated above, the brake fluid level appeared low. When such a condition occurs, the brake pedal will travel further before it stops. In general, the lower the brake fluid level, the lower the pedal will travel.

What to do?
First, you should ask yourself, "How did the brake fluid level become low?" Could there be a leak somewhere in the brake system? We definitely recommend that you have this checked out. Or, where the brakes recently serviced, and possibly the mechanic did not add enough brake fluid? In any case, you should add some brake fluid. Simply unscrew the top of the reservoir and carefully pour in the appropriate amount. Do not keep the cap off any longer than necessary.

To solve this kind of problem you have to bring the car to a reputable auto repair shop for checking and repair if necessary, probably the best thing that the auto mechanic to do is to replace the master cylinder. If you decide to replace the master cylinder yourself you can buy at any repair shop replacement parts or buy a rebuilt one that is less expensive than a new one and will not cost you more. Refer to your car service manual if you decide to do them yourself, In case fluid leakage due to piston cup wear occurred, overhaul the master cylinder by referring to the Service Manual. 

Be careful not to splash brake fluid on a painted area because it may cause damage to the paint. If the brake fluid is splashed on a painted area, immediately wash it away with water. Never use mineral oil such as kerosene or gasoline while cleaning and assembling. Make sure that there are no foreign materials on the cylinder wall, piston, or cup seal. Be careful not to scratch the parts with a tool while assembling. Be careful not to drop any parts. If any part is dropped, replace it with a new one, do not neglect this problem, and if this problem happens you take care at once to avoid a more serious problem that may result from this pedal problem. 

If the brake fluid level low is not low next is to check the rear brake. If the vehicle's rear brake is a drum brake then a worn brake shoe lining is causing the brake pedal to goes down the floor. A drum brake system basically involves brake shoes that press against the inside of a drum when the brake pedal is depressed. If the brake shoe linings are worn, the brake pedal will have to be pressed down further before the shoe linings come in contact with the drum.

What to do?
You'll need to take this vehicle into a shop and have the mechanic verify that the rear brake shoe linings are indeed worn and in need of replacement. As a general rule, only replace riveted linings when they are worn to 1/32" or less above the rivets. In the case of bonded linings, only replace them if the lining thickness is 1/16" or less. The mechanic may insist that he must machine the drums before he installs the new linings. Usually, this is not a bad idea and you should strongly consider having it done. Do not ignore worn-out brake linings if the linings are worn out excessively it will create grinding noise when braking then it will damage the brake rotor or the rum.  

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