Why Do My Brakes Feel Spongy?

Why Do My Brakes Feel Spongy?

There are 5 common reasons your brakes may feel spongy: air in the brake lines, low fluid, damaged lines, worn cylinders, or damaged calipers.

It’s scary if we go to stop and our car’s brakes feel spongy. Your confidence in driving and feeling of safety is affected.

Restoring your manufacturer’s intended brake strength is key to regaining your driving confidence.

We will discuss the common reasons brakes feel spongy in this article.

5 Common Reasons Brakes Feel Spongy

There are 5 fairly common reasons brakes will being to feel spongy.  While gearheads and regular motorists love to talk about acceleration stopping power many times is forgotten.  Getting to 100 is fun but it’s less fun to think about emergency braking situations.  If you’ve noticed diminished brake strength or a spongy feeling make sure you get a brake inspection to ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists.

1.      Damaged Brake Lines

Brake lines can become damaged or start to rust if the vehicle has been driven near saltwater or in areas that spread salt on snow.  These conditions cause the brake lines to become fragile, start leaking, or completely break.  If you’ve been involved in an auto collision the brake lines could also be compromised.

2.      Air In Brake Lines

If your brake fluid is low or brake pads are worn down air can be drawn into your brake system.  Air is more compressible than hydraulic fluid and will cause a spongy feeling in your brakes.  This is by far the most common cause of spongy feeling brakes and can be repaired by brake repair technicians.  Read more about air in brake lines.

3.      Worn Brake Cylinders

Your car’s master cylinder distributes the pressure of the hydraulic fluid in your brake system.  When you apply the brake the master cylinder pushes the hydraulic fluid so the brake pads are pressed against the discs and the vehicle slows.  If the master cylinder is worn it might have leaks or be broken.  This is a common potential cause of spongy brakes.

4.      Damaged Brake Calipers

If your car is pulling to one side when you apply the brakes, you could have damaged calipers.  As you drive and apply your brakes intense heat is created via friction.  In some cases this damage causes a screeching sound as you apply the brakes.  This high head does cause wear on components such as the calipers and discs.

5.      Low Or Old Brake Fluid

Brake fluid by nature absorbs water.  This means over time the brake fluid has excessive moisture which can compromise your brake lines with rust.  If you bad brake fluid or not enough brake fluid it will cause your brakes to feel soft or spongy.  It’s important to get them checked out and new fluid added when necessary.

Brake Repair Services

If you have a car, truck, or other vehicle and your brakes are feeling spongy; bring it into Bridwell Automotive Center.  Our team can track down why your brakes feel spongy, offer affordable brake repair quotes, and perform the repairs quickly and correctly.  Our ASE Certified team performs brake repair services for virtually any make or model of vehicle.

Call  (480) 948-4781 or Contact Us

1 reply
  1. Thomas Jameson
    Thomas Jameson says:

    It’s good to know that there could be air in your brake lines if your brakes feel spongy. My wife’s car’s brakes feel spongy as of late, and I want to make sure that her brakes are working properly while she is driving. We’ll be taking her car in for some repairs to get the air out of the brake lines.


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