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Why Does My Brake Pedal Feel Stiff?


When you press down on your brake pedal, it should be able to move back up without any resistance quickly. But if the pedal feels stiff and challenging to push down, this could indicate a severe issue with your brakes. To understand why your brake pedal might feel stiff, it's essential to look at the components of your braking system and some common causes of stiffness.

What Makes Up Your Braking System?

Your vehicle's braking system comprises several components that all work together to allow you to slow and stop safely. This includes the brake lines, wheel cylinders, master cylinders, calipers, rotors, and discs – all essential for properly functioning brakes.

Common Causes of Brake Pedal Stiffness

There are a few critical causes of brake pedal stiffness that could be impacting your vehicle. These include:

  • Leaks in the braking system: Often, the entire system will be affected if there is an issue with one component of your brakes. This can create a vacuum leak, making it harder to press down on the brake pedal.
  • Faulty master cylinder: The master cylinder supplies pressure to all four brakes, so if this is faulty, you may have difficulty pressing down on the brake pedal. Your mechanic can inspect the master cylinder to determine if it needs to be replaced.
  • Worn brake pads: If your brake pads are worn out, they won't have the exact grip on the rotors and discs. This can cause stiffness in the brake pedal as you press down. To replace the pads, your mechanic must remove them and install new ones.
  • Air in the braking system: Air can quickly get into the braking system by way of a leak or simply through wear and tear over time. This air creates resistance when you press down on the brake pedal, making it harder to depress than usual.


Having a stiff brake pedal can be dangerous, so it's essential to get it checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

Keep Safety in Mind
If you experience any stiffness in the brake pedal, it's best to have it checked out by an experienced mechanic as soon as possible. Bring your car to Sil's Complete Auto Care Centre for brake repairs, maintenance, and inspections. Our team of certified mechanics is here to help you stay safe on the road.

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