Brake Pedal Goes to Floor

Easy step by step repair guide on how to fix a brake pedal that goes to the floor, which 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 eye wear and gloves.

Brake Pedal On Floor
Step 1 - Check the level of brake 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 rather than creating brake line pressure causing a low or a non existent brake pedal. Visit - Brake Master Cylinder Replacement

Brake Master Cylinder
Step 3 - When the rear brake shoes wear down due to usage, the self adjuster is designed to not allow the brake shoes to contact the drum in most cases which causes an air gap.

This condition will cause the brake pedal to be low and seem like its going to the floor due to the excessive travel for the shoes to connect the drum.

If the brake system is not leaking and the brake master is in good shape remove the rear tires and drums to inspect the brake shoe condition and replace as needed.

Checking For Worn Brake Shoes
Step 4
- Occasionally when a brake caliper or rear wheel cylinder fail they can allow air to get sucked into the system when the brake pedal is released after being depressed (without leaking fluid).

Bleed the brake system, if air is observed from any bleeder a second time replace the caliper or wheel cylinder and re-bleed system.

Bleed Brake System
Step 5 - If the axle bearing fails it can allow the rotor to move back and forth while driving forcing the brake pads inward into the caliper creating an air gap.

As the brakes are applied the pedal will go to the floor as the caliper fills with fluid to close the gap, in these cases it will take two or more pumps to regain normal operation, inspect and replace failed axle bearings as needed.

New Axle Bearing Hub
If further assistance is needed, our certified technicians are ready to answer your car repair questions for free.

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