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Reasons Why You May Have Stiff Brakes


If you have to stomp on your brake pedal to slow down or stop your car you probably have stiff brakes.

Understandably, a tight brake pedal is a severe safety problem that has to be fixed immediately as it can make it difficult to slow down your car. If you ever find yourself caught up in such a situation, call a skilled towing service directly.

But why has your brake pedal become so challenging to press in the first place? Continue reading to discover the possible causes of a stiff brake pedal.

Also Read: Signs Of Brake Failure That Require Towing

How Do Brakes Work?

Difficulties with the brake amplifier are typically to blame for stiff brakes. The hydraulic fluid in your brake system and brake boosters work together to could lead to a firm brake pedal. It’s better to have the force you apply to the brake pedal. Through using this device, you can use just your foot to stop a two-ton car.

Conventional vacuum brake boosters feature two compartments divided by a diaphragm situated between the master cylinder and the brake pedal. Air is taken out of the front section to generate a low-pressure vacuum. Applying the brake pedal lets air into the rear chamber.

It might be simpler to troubleshoot your hard brake pedal now that you know how your power braking system operates. Your brake pedal may be difficult to press for one of the following causes:

Brake Booster

Your brakes are deemed defective when the brake booster can no longer sustain vacuum pressure. The engine vacuum makes it possible for your power brakes to work.

Using a vacuum hose, the brake booster is directly coupled to the engine’s intake manifold, enabling the check valve to draw air into the machine and draw air from the brake booster’s front chamber.

Occasionally, the diaphragm will tear, or the control valve might malfunction. Both times, the master cylinder won’t receive power from the brake booster as it may no longer be able to generate a vacuum.

Faltering Power Steering Pump

There are various brake booster types found in automobiles. Instead of using the intake valve manifold to generate a vacuum, the brake booster in these cars might be an electrically or mechanically powered pump.

Additionally, some cars may feature a hydraulic brake booster that employs the power steering pump’s direct hydraulic pressure in place of the engine’s vacuum.

The typical causes of a stiff brake pedal in a car with a vacuum pump or hydraulic brake booster include a broken electric pump, a missing serpentine belt, and insufficient power steering fluid.

Cracked Vacuum Hose

Your brake booster is linked to the engine by a vacuum pipe, which pulls air to produce suction. A fractured vacuum hose will result in a loss of vacuum and a firm brake pedal.

This is because over time rubber vacuum hoses tend to dry rot and break where they attach.

When you use the brakes, a buzzing noise could result from a vacuum hose or brake booster diaphragm leak. Changing the vacuum pipe is often required to cure a stiff brake pedal.

Crammed Caliper

Seized brake calipers are another potential reason why your brakes may be harsh or stiff. The brake calipers are one of the most crucial parts of your car’s braking system. When you go to stop your vehicle, they press your brake pads up against the rotor.

Often, brake calipers or the screws that link them can get caught, making it impossible for them to properly engage and place your brake pads.

This problem could lead to a firm brake pedal. It’s better to have a professional towing service inspect it and fix the problem if your caliper is stuck.

Sludge In The Brake System

If you’ve examined your brake booster and discovered that it isn’t the cause of your tight brake pedal, the sludge in your brake system may be to blame.

Moisture that may infiltrate the brake system from exposure to air is absorbed by brake fluid. Water will eventually cause sludge to accumulate, restricting the flow of brake fluid and making your pedal feel tight.

To minimize sludge accumulation and maintain your pedal function, have your brake fluid replaced at least every two years.

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At Action Towing we take great pride in our reputation as a respectable and trustworthy provider of towing services. Having served the Edmonton community for many years, our team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals has established a solid reputation for offering excellent services at a reasonable price.

In need of a tow? Call us.


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