Brake Pedal Hard To Push


Chevrolet Buick GMC Of Sanger is located at: 1028 Academy Ave • Sanger, CA 93657

What You Need to Know About a Dysfunctional Brake Pedal 

The brakes on cars are some of the most important components. Considering the power of modern car engines, and the velocities that cars can travel at, being able to slow down in a safe and reliable fashion is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, brake pedals can become dysfunctional and affect the driver’s ability to drive safely.

If your brake pedals are stuck, or hard to push, then keep on reading. Below we’ll talk about some common reasons why brakes become dysfunctional and what to do about them.

Why Is My Brake Pedal Stuck Or Hard to Push?

When brake pedals begin to have issues, they can get stuck or become hard to push entirely. Besides affecting the performance of the car, this can also become a serious safety hazard. There are 4 reasons why this might be happening to your car.

Not Enough Vacuum

The braking system on your car relies on a vacuum system. When the brake pedal is pushed, a two-way valve within the brake booster moves simultaneously to the brake pedal.

In order for the brake pedal to function correctly, the engine vacuum that is pulling on the diaphragms within the brake booster needs to be more than the atmospheric pressure.

If the vacuum with the brake booster is less than the atmospheric pressure, then the diaphragms within the booster will have no assistance in moving. Thus, you will need to press harder on the pedal to make it function.

Bad Break Booster

One of the most common failures when it comes to the brake booster is when one of the interior diaphragms develops a hole. If this happens the two-way valve within the brake booster cannot contain enough vacuum pressure.

Follow these steps to test if your brake issue is coming from a busted brake booster:

  1. With the engine off, press and release the brake several times to remove any vacuum in the brake booster
  2. On the last push, hold pressure on the pedal, like you’re at a red light.
  3. With your foot still on the brake, turn on the car and pay attention to what happens
  4. If the pedal drops, the booster diaphragm is working correctly, and the booster is functioning
  5. If the pedal does not move, then the booster cannot hold adequate vacuum inside or the internal valve of the booster is not working

Brake Pedal Hard To Push

Defective Valves

The brake booster check valve is a circular valve that goes into the body of the brake booster and is attached to the vacuum hose. The check valve is responsible for holding the vacuum that the engine creates within the brake booster.

If the check valve on the brake booster is functioning properly, air should be able to enter through the hose side, but not exit through the brake booster. If air does go through the hose and out the other side, the check valve is not doing its job.

Wrong Hose

If your brakes were recently serviced, but you are still experiencing hard brakes, then it’s possible that the wrong vacuum hose was installed. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake, especially amongst inexperienced mechanics.

Vacuum hoses are designed for situations with high pressure and suction. If the incorrect hose is installed, the vacuum that is created in the brake booster can actually suction the hose closed. This will drastically impact the performance of the vehicle’s brakes.

How to Replace the Brake Booster

If the brake booster is the cause for concern, then you will need to replace it. If you are the DIY type, then follow the steps below. Otherwise, we recommend that you hire a professional to help you with your brake repairs.

  1. Remove the vacuum line from the brake booster by twisting and pulling
  2. Remove the bolts securing the master cylinder to the brake booster and pull the master cylinder off the booster
  3. Disconnect the brake booster from the brake pedal
  4. Remove the bolts that securing the brake booster to the firewall
  5. Remove the defective brake booster
  6. Install the new booster and torque the bolts to specification
  7. Reconnect the brake pedal
  8. Reconnect the master cylinder
  9. Take the car for a test drive to test the new booster.
  10. Safely dispose of any old brake fluid

How Much Does a New Brake Pedal Cost?

If it turns out that you need to switch the brake pedal itself, then you’re in luck. Because this is one of the simpler and inexpensive repairs that can be done on a car’s brake system.

On average, replacing the brake pedal will cost $145. Parts are pretty cheap and range from $20 and $70 depending on your car. Labor will vary by location but on average costs about $50.

Keeping an eye on the status and condition of your car’s brakes is very important. The moment that you begin to experience issues, we recommend you do not delay with repairs. If you have questions related to brakes, buying or selling cars, then let us know!