Have you noticed a problem with your brakes how brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic and we are going to elaborate on this problem in detail.
- How Braking Works
- The Problem
- Possible Causes
- How To Diagnose?
- How To Replace?
Doing your own research before you take your car to a shop for a problem like this might be a good thing. When a brake pedal goes to the floor or when you have a soft brake pedal, things are not normal and you definitely have an issue.
This issue can be often misdiagnosed because most mechanics will consider a bad brake booster or master cylinder, or air into the brake lines. This is why you need to learn the symptoms of both of these devices and find out what could be the cause of the problem. And we are going to help you with precisely that in this article.
First, we are going to learn how the braking system works and then we will elaborate on the problem of the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. Then we will cover the probable causes for this problem as well as the symptoms of a bad master cylinder, as well as the symptoms of a bad brake booster. Later on, we will learn how to diagnose the problem when the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. So, if you want to learn more about how to solve your problem, follow along.
How Does The Braking System Works
Now before we dive into elaborating the problem of brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. Let’s first take a look at how the brake system works in general. There are a ton of people facing brake-related issues each day and they don’t know the basics of this system and its mode of operation. This is why we need to cover this system in detail and learn all about it.
So, what is a brake system? Well, this is the system that makes your car stop. Without a braking system, cars would not be able to come to a stop safely. So, you understand the cruciality of this system and why it is so essential. But how this system works?
Well, what is worth noting is that this is a hydraulic system that works with the help of a vacuum. This system is composed of the brake pedal (for more context, check out our guide on which one is the brake) which is directly connected to the master cylinder and brake booster.
The master cylinder is the component that is the brain of this system. This master cylinder has two circuits inside that control one side of your car. So, this is by design when one circuit fails, you will not lose all the brakes on your car.
The brake booster on the other hand simply creates the vacuum and makes using the brakes a lot easier.
So, when you press the brake pedal, you simply send brake fluid to the calipers, and then you activate the pistons, and the car stops. When you release the foot from the brake pedal, the vacuum returns the piston back to its original place. Simple as that, this is the whole operation of this system. But what about brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks? More on that next.
Brake Pedal Goes To Floor But No Leaks
Now let’s elaborate more on the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. Let’s learn more about how this problem is represented and then once we are done discussing this, we are going to see more about the causes of this problem.
Well, when it comes to this problem we can say that you have a serious issue that is worth diagnosing and sorting out.
Namely, because a good braking system should never have a brake pedal that goes to the floor. A good brake pedal should be hard to the touch and have limited movement.
If the pedal sinks to the bottom, then there is a problem inside the braking system. What is interesting about this problem is that there are no leaks found anywhere in the braking system. So, there could be three main causes that can cause this problem in the first place.
What is important for you is to drive this car carefully and not push it to the limits. Mainly because your braking system is defective and is in desperate need of repair. If you decide to push it hard and your brakes fail, then you could face some really nasty situations.
This is why we would recommend you handle this situation with care. Make sure that your brake fluid is topped off and it is not low. Then drive slowly and carefully to the nearest shop and leave your car to experienced mechanics to deal with the problem if you are not into cars.
Or if you want to experiment and try to fix the problem by yourself, you should follow us closely, because in the following chapters we will cover the reasons why brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks.
Causes For Brake Pedal Goes To Floor But No Leaks
So, we elaborated more on the problem of the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. Now it is time to learn more about the possible causes of this problem. In general, there are three main causes for this issue happening on your vehicle.
Knowing the causes will really going to help you out when it comes to diagnosing this problem and learning where to look for the issue. So, we are going to elaborate on all the possibilities and then we will discuss the symptoms of a bad master cylinder and a bad brake booster and see which one of these components is more likely to be causing this problem.
So, if you want to learn more about how to solve this problem of brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks, follow along.
1. Air Inside Of The System
Now let’s dive into the causes of the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks problem. And the first in our list of possible causes is the air inside the braking system. So, why this would be the possible scenario for this problem occurring on your vehicle?
Well, as you probably know the brake system is a hydraulic system. So, it needs brake fluid known as DOT in order to work properly.
This fluid has a big resistance to compression and can withstand a ton of force applied to it. And whenever you have an air leak in the brake system, air compromises the performance of this fluid.
Air is highly compressible and can create big malfunctions inside the braking system. Like the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks problem.
So, in most cases, when a brake pedal sinks in, you highly likely have a problem with the air in the brake system of your car.
This can be attributed to a poor brake fluid flush if you have done one recently. Or a bad master cylinder. And that’s what we are going to discuss in the following chapters.
Whenever you have a situation like this, it is important that you do another flush to determine if the problem was caused by a poor maintenance job. Or some of the other brake system components are faulty. Now let’s move on to the next cause for the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks.
2. Bad Master Cylinder
Now let’s move on to the next probable cause for the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks and this cause is also quite frequent. Namely, the master cylinder.
As we noted previously, the master cylinder is the brain of your braking system. This is basically the actuator of the brakes once you apply the foot on the brakes.
Whenever you press on the brakes, there is a small push rod that moves inside and outside of the master cylinder.
Inside there are springs that compress when you apply the brakes and decompress when the brakes are released.
Also, there are a lot of cup seals that can fail, and a situation when you have brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks, it is 99% caused by bad master cylinder cup seals.
When these seals fail, it will result in a loss of hydraulic pressure. And the pedal sinks in. So, once you do a brake fluid flush and determine that the system does not have air, the master cylinder is the next component that you want to check. And now let’s move to the last probable cause for this problem of brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks.
3. Bad Brake Booster
Another far less common cause for brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks is because of a bad brake booster. So, what is a brake booster?
Well, a brake booster as its name implies is a device that helps your car stop better with little or no effort.
All modern cars have brake boosters installed on them. You will notice the brake booster mounted onto the firewall of the vehicle.
Inside the brake booster, there is a diaphragm that creates a vacuum and helps the vehicle stop better. Sometimes the diaphragm can fail and cause problems like in this case with the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. But frankly, this is a really less common occurrence in cars.
But still, it works along the master cylinder. So, it is definitely worth your attention. And if the master cylinder seems good, this is the component that you want to check. Now since we covered the causes for the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks, let’s take a look and learn more about the bad brake master cylinder symptoms.
Bad Brake Master Cylinder Symptoms
Now before we dive into the diagnostics of the problem with brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks, let’s first learn more about the master cylinder symptoms. Why is this necessary? Well, this is necessary because you will be able to tell whether the master cylinder or the brake booster is bad in this situation. So, let’s cover them briefly.
The first symptom of a bad master cylinder is definitely the ABS light. If the brake system malfunctions, then you will probably notice the ABS light on the cluster more often.
The second symptom that we don’t have in this case is the brake fluid leak. The master cylinder tends to leak whenever it fails but this isn’t always the case. So, it is useful to check the master cylinder for possible leaks as well.
The next symptom that we are going to cover is the contaminated brake fluid. This symptom doesn’t necessarily have to mean that the master cylinder is bad. But in most cases when you have a bad master cylinder you also have problems with dirty brake fluid.
And the next two symptoms when it comes to the master cylinder are really important to us. The first symptom is associated with a spongy brake pedal. This is the situation when you have a problem with air in the system.
And the last symptom is the symptom when the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. If the brake pedal is sinking when you press the brakes, then you definitely can be having problems with the master cylinder.
Symptoms Of A Bad Brake Booster
Now since we covered the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks and learned that the brake booster and the master cylinder are the most common causes of this issue. We think that now it is time to cover the symptoms of a bad brake booster and learn more about them. So, what are the symptoms of a bad brake booster? Does brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks is one of these symptoms? Let’s find out.
The first symptom that you will notice whenever there is a problem with the brake booster is similar to the previous component that we covered. Namely, the ABS light on the dash.
Other symptoms can include stiff brake pedal action, high brake pedal position, and increased braking distance. Something that is really important to us.
So, in this case, you can also have a situation where the brake booster can also create similar symptoms. But is this actually the case? Let’s find out more about that next.
Bad Brake Booster Or Master Cylinder
So, is it the brake booster or master cylinder that’s the component that causes the problem of the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks?
Well, our honest opinion is that in this situation, you should prioritize the master cylinder because the master cylinder can create this symptom quite often.
In 99% of the cases, the problem is in the master cylinder itself. But how you can be sure and diagnose the problem 100% that the issue is in the master cylinder itself and not something else? Let’s find out more about that next.
How To Diagnose The Problem Of Brake Pedal Goes To Floor But No Leaks
Now let’s take a look at how to diagnose the issue of the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. What can you do in this situation?
Well, in this situation, I would advise doing a brake fluid change. Quite often people are doing brake fluid jobs and they end up with a big amount of air into the system.
So, the first thing would be this. Do a fluid change and make sure that there is no air in the brake lines. And in most cases, this solves the problem.
If flushing the fluid does not solve the problem, then the next thing you would want to check is the master cylinder itself.
And doing this is really easy. In order to test the master cylinder, you will only need to remove the lines that go outside of the master cylinder to the brake lines.
And then just place the outlet port plugs and tighten them well. Once you have done this, top off the reservoir with hydraulic fluid and apply pressure on the brake pedal.
If the brake pedal is nice and firm as it should be, then the master cylinder is good and you have a leak somewhere elsewhere in the system.
If the brake pedal is soft and goes to the floor, then you have a bad master cylinder. Simple as that. Also, during this step, it is advisable that you start the vehicle in order for the brake booster to work and see if you don’t have a vacuum leak as well.
Once you did all these checks and determined that the master cylinder is bad, just replace it with a new one and re-flush the system with brake fluid.
How To Replace Master Cylinder
Now since we learned more about why the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks and determined that the master cylinder is the component to blame for all these problems. We think it is time to learn more about the replacement of this unit.
Replacing this unit is the way to go. You can also rebuild it. But we would not recommend you that because rebuilt ones do not perform particularly well. And you can expect similar problems again in the near future.
In order to remove the master cylinder, you will need a wrench to remove the fluid lines. And a socket wrench to remove the master cylinder from the firewall. Nothing too complicated.
Then bolt on the new component on the firewall and connect the brake lines. Then once you connected everything, you will need to bleed the brakes and remove the excess air from the system.
In the video above, the good old Scotty will tell you everything when it comes to performing this job in your driveway.
Cost To Fix Brake Pedal Goes To Floor But No Leaks
So, we determined the cause of the problem. Namely, the brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. We learned that the master cylinder is the one to blame unless you have air into the brake lines. So, how expensive is it to replace this component on your vehicle?
Well, on average, the part itself costs between $250 and $550. But the labor is expensive and you will highly likely need to re-bleed the brakes once the replacement is done.
And this also costs money. So, for the labor of replacement and re-bleeding of the brakes, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100 to $250. Still, it really depends on the shop where you take your car and what are their rates for replacing these components.
Conclusion To Brake Pedal Goes To Floor But No Leaks
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the problem of brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks. First, we learned how the braking system works and the components that are involved in it. Then we elaborated on the problem.
After that, we covered the main causes for the problem of brake pedal goes to floor but no leaks and elaborated more on each of these components and the symptoms they create. Lastly, we determined that this problem is highly likely caused by the master cylinder. As well as the replacement process and the cost involved.
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Which Pedal Is The Brake
The location of the brake pedal depends on whether you drive an automatic or a manual. On automatic transmissions, the brake pedal is on the left. While on manual transmissions the brake pedal is in the middle.
Does Brake Fluid Go Bad
Yes, brake fluid can go bad. It can mix with water and this could reduce the performance of the brake fluid. Also, other pollutants such as brake dust and other impurities can enter and ruin the performance of the brake fluid.
Why Is My Brake Pedal Hard
The brake pedal should be hard. The brake pedal shouldn’t have a lot of travel. An inch or two maximum. When brakes are hard it is good. When they are soft, then you have a problem.
Why Do My Brake Pedal Go To The Floor
Usually, this type of problem is either caused by a brake fluid leak that allowed air to enter the brake lines. Or the master cylinder is bad. So, you need to make sure that the master cylinder is working well, if not, replace it with a new one.
How To Tell If Master Cylinder Is Bad
Testing a master cylinder is really easy. Just remove the brake lines and close the holes with port plugs. Then, top off the master cylinder and press on the brake pedal. If the pedal is still soft, then the master cylinder is bad. If the pedal is reacting well, then you have a fluid leak somewhere on the brake lines.
How To Add Brake Fluid To Car
In order to do this work. First, you need to locate the master cylinder. Usually on top of the master cylinder, or around it should be a plastic reservoir. Top off the reservoir with new fluid.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.