Brake problems generally keep you from slowing or stopping your car when desired. Spongy brakes can be a serious problem, often causing accidents unless you fix them in a timely fashion. Following are some things that can cause your car’s brakes to turn “spongy”.
Air Stuck inside the Brake Lines
This is a highly common cause for spongy brakes. Most braking systems use evenly applied hydraulic pressure to stop the car, but this can be disrupted by air entering even one of the lines. If the pressure drops, you end up needing to use more effort over a longer time to slow the car down. Some even call this a “soft brake pedal”.
Brake Line Damage
Rust can damage your brake line and make a leak spring up. It can form as a result of exposure to road salt and moisture, making the brake lines brittle. Even damage from a previous car crash can leave the brake lines deformed, making them weak and prone to developing inconvenient problems as time passes.
Old or Inadequate Brake Fluid
Brake fluid is responsible for converting energy from your brake pedal into force, which is meant to stop the vehicle. In the same way that the brake pads wear down in time, the brake fluid degenerates too. It is important to remember the last time you had it changed, and replenish the supply if you are running low. On top of that, get periodic inspections done and make sure they check for brake fluid leaks.
The master cylinder is vital to evenly distributing hydraulic pressure. It does this by pressing the brake fluid to the space where it should be in order for the car to be brought to a stop. With time, the seals inside this cylinder can leak or break. There is often a good chance that it has, if your vehicle only stops after completely pressing the brake pedal.
Spoiled Disc Brake Caliper
Braking generates tremendous heat, which after a while can damage the brake calipers in your car. Such damage can be spotted from its symptoms: you would notice not only the brakes now being spongy, but also that the car veers to one side when you bring it to a stop. Sometimes, you would also get to hear a squealing or squeaky sound. The best thing to do is take the car in for an inspection.