Brake Pedal Goes to Floor

Easy step by step repair guide on how to fix an automotive brake pedal that goes to the floor, steps are presented in order of popularity, this article pertains to most vehicles.

Before beginning work place the vehicle on level ground with the parking brake set, using a basic set of tools while wearing protective eyewear and gloves.

Brake Pedal On Floor

Step 1 - Check the level of fluid in the brake master cylinder, its normal for fluid to be a little low if the brake pads or shoes have worn down. If pads or shoes are in good shape, and the brake master cylinder reservoir is empty, the system is leaking. (Note: Vehicle should not be driven.) Check the master cylinder, calipers or wheel cylinders for leakage, if brake fluid is present they need to be replaced (Note: If brake fluid has contacted pads or shoes they should be replaced as well). Visit - Replace wheel cylinder

Wheel Cylinder Removed

Step 2 - When a brake master cylinder bypasses it allows fluid to revert into the fluid reservoir other than creating brake line pressure causing low or a non existent brake pedal. Visit - Brake master cylinder replacement

Brake Master Cylinder

Step 3 - If the axle bearing fails it allows the rotor to move back and forth while driving forcing the brake pads inward into the caliper, as the brakes are applied the pedal will go to the floor as the caliper fills with fluid, in this case it will take two or more pumps to regain normal operation, inspect and replace failed axle bearings as needed. Visit - Replace Axle Bearing Hub

New Axle Bearing Hub

Step 4 - When a brake caliper or rear wheel cylinder fails they can allow air into the system (without leaking fluid) when the brake pedal is released after being depressed. Bleed the brake system, if air is observed from any bleeder a second time replace the caliper or wheel cylinder and re-bleed system, this condition is rare. Visit - Brake system bleed

Bleed Brake System


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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