Signs Your Car is About to Die

Hello, my name is Roy. For many years, I drove a 1976 Ford estate car around Sydney. The car had belonged to my grandpa. It was passed down to me when I had just passed my driving test at the age of 18. That was in 1986 and the car was already in a pretty bad condition then. Fast forward to 2006 and I was now aged 38 and still driving the same car around. Sometimes the car wouldn't start, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the gearbox made a terrible sound. I did my best to patch it up, but eventually, I had to scrap the car and buy a new one. I decided to start a blog to encourage others to service their cars.

What to Do If Your Car's Brake Pedal Isn't Doing Its Job Properly


Do you have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, as your foot sinks further and further towards the floor of your car when you're trying to stop? You will be used to a brake pedal that only has a very precise amount of travel before being effective. If, all of a sudden, this isn't the case, you've got to check it out right away. What could be causing this?

Check the Fluid First

Usually, when the brake pedal does travel further than it is supposed to, it will still provide a braking action and decelerate the car, albeit not as efficiently. One of the first things to check is the level of fluid in the brake reservoir. If this is low, you need to top it off, but you also need to ask yourself why this is the case.

There could be a leak which would require a professional check of the entire brake system. It could simply have been a long time since you checked the level, though, and then it could be down to gradual evaporation of the fluid over time. Don't leave it so long in the future to get your system serviced!

Air in the System

It could be that the brake fluid is contaminated. This can happen if tiny particles of either air or water are able to make their way into the system and mix with the brake fluid. This can happen naturally, although it is fairly rare. You will need to bleed the system at each wheel. There is a specific bleed screw for this purpose and it allows you to get rid of any excess air.

Worn Components

It is possible that the brake pads themselves have worn down past the replacement point. Due to the way that they are made, however, there will normally be an audible signal such as a squealing noise, which will materialise when you're braking. You should get your brake pads inspected on a regular basis anyway, to make sure that this situation never arises. However, a full replacement may make your pedal issues go away.

Don't Just Leave It

If none of these "fixes" get rid of the problem, it's definitely time to take the vehicle in to a qualified mechanic for further investigation and brake repairs. Your braking system must always be in first-class condition, and a sinking pedal is an indication of trouble ahead unless you take action.


14 February 2017