It can happen without warning to just about anyone: you’re driving around the roads of Philadelphia, whether it’s Doylestown, Flemington, or Mechanicsburg, and suddenly your brakes feel soft or spongy. Stopping isn’t as authoritative as you’re used to, and you might even not feel as in control of your vehicle as you’re accustomed to.
Spongy brakes can not only be an inconvenience and a worry, they can cause legitimate danger to you, your car, and the other drivers on the road. This is a problem that you need to have addressed right away, and it starts with knowing what the problem is. Here are some things that can cause your brakes to feel spongy and information on where to go to address the problem.
Brakes Feel Spongy
When your brakes feel spongy, it can take a lot more effort to stop your car than it otherwise should. Spongy brakes are also called mushy, soft, or squishy brakes. They can cause major problems and danger if they’re not addressed right away. While understanding the potential causes can be helpful, in the end, you need to get your car into a certified service center for a brake inspection to have the problem diagnosed and repaired, restoring your braking performance to its factory condition.
Spongy Brake Cause
There are a number of conditions that can cause spongy brakes. You could have damage to or air in your brake lines. You might be low on brake fluid. You could be suffering wear to your brake cylinder. Your brake calipers could be damaged. Any of these issues requires repair to get your car properly back under your control.
Damage to Brake Lines
If your brake lines are damaged or if you get air in them, it can cause your brakes to feel spongy. In fact, air in the lines is among the most common causes, and the easiest to fix. Air in the lines throws off the pressure balance upon which your brakes rely to work. Sometimes simply bleeding the lines can fix this.
Damage to the lines, on the other hand, can cause a leak that means you need the lines to be replaced. Basic rust from salt and moisture can result in this kind of damage, as can car accidents and even hitting a deep pothole too hard.
Brake Fluid Issues
If you’re low on brake fluid, your brakes simply won’t work the way they should. As brake fluid gets old, it starts to break down and wear. It doesn’t do the job as well as it should, and it can deteriorate to the point where you lose fluid. A brake inspection can restore the fluid to its normal levels.
Your master cylinder is the part of your brake system that distributes pressure throughout the brakes. When it breaks or suffers a leak, it can be a spongy brake cause.
Brake calipers can get damaged or even break from heat and friction — this is regular routine wear and tear that can be addressed with getting your brakes changed or serviced on a regular basis. It can also result in a spongy, soft brake feel.
Get Service at Fred Beans
If you’re experiencing brakes that feel spongy, Fred Beans can get you back on the Philadelphia and Mechanicsburg roads in no time at all. Stop in or give us a call to schedule an appointment to diagnose your spongy brake cause, and get back up and running across Doylestown and Flemington today!