If you feel like you have to press down hard on your brake pedal to slow down or stop your car, you should be worried about the vehicle’s safety. Naturally, a hard brake pedal is a serious safety hazard. 

But why does a brake pedal become hard? Below are five potential reasons why your brake becomes hard to press down. Read on to learn more about each of them.

Reasons Your Brake Pedal Might Not Be Working 

1) Failing Vacuum Pump

Your brake pedal is connected to your vacuum pump, which uses your car’s engine to create an air reserve. The brake pedal needs this air reserve in order to function properly.

If you feel like you have to press down hard on the brake pedal in order to slow down, it might just be a problem with your vacuum pump. The pump is failing and no longer creates the proper amount of vacuum.

2) Faulty Brake Calipers

Just as the brake pedal works in conjunction with the vacuum pump, it also works in conjunction with your brake calipers. Your brake calipers are responsible for pushing your brake pads into the brake rotors.

However, if your brake calipers are faulty, your brake pedal will become hard. The calipers might be failing or have broken down. In that case, you will have to have them replaced.

3) Clogged Brake Lines

A buildup of dirt and grime in your brake lines can make it more difficult for you to press down on your brake pedal. The pressure from your foot is unable to travel through the lines because of the build-up.

If your brake pedal is hard to press down, it is best to inspect your brake lines. A simple cleaning of your lines can often solve the problem.

4) Broken Vacuum Hose

The seal between the brake pedal and vacuum pump can be broken over time. This could make it more difficult for you to press down on your brake pedal. 

You have to have a professional inspect and replace the seal. If the seal is broken, it is much easier to fix than to repair your vacuum pump.

5)  Faulty Brake Master Cylinder

While other parts of your car’s braking system can malfunction, it is most likely your brake master cylinder that is the source of your brake pedal issues.

If your brake pedal becomes hard to press down, it is important to remember that you should never drive your car if the brake pedal is not working properly. Contact the nearest auto body shop to have your brakes inspected.

Safety Precautions

It is important that you realize that your brake pedal might not be working properly. But if it is hard to press down on your brake pedal, you should not drive your car.

In some cases, having your brakes inspected might just be a simple issue that can be fixed easily. But if your brakes are malfunctioning, it could lead to a more serious problem.


​If your brake pedal is hard to press down, it can be a serious safety hazard. A professional will be able to give you an estimate of how much the repair work will cost. 

Get your brakes checked by Hoover Automotive. We are a dedicated brake service in Hoover, AL, to help you out with any maintenance and repairs. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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