Featuring high build quality and progressive design, the Audi is considered a foreign luxury brand that represents prestige and precision. Equipped with superior brakes at the time of manufacture, these vehicles give drivers excellent stopping power as well as fade resistance.
Proper brake functioning is important in Audis as well as all cars, spelling the difference between life and death. Your brakes can minimize damage in an emergency situation, whether a fender bender or major collision. With any luck, they will prevent a collision in the first place to result in quick handling and stopping.
In addition, properly functioning brakes also help you maintain the control and stability of the vehicle, particularly at high speeds. When you invest in a luxury brand like Audi, you get peace of mind knowing your car comes with some of the best brakes available today.
But even the best brakes in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t maintain them and take them in for service when you detect an issue. Brakes rarely malfunction outright. Usually, there are many warning signs beforehand that tell you it’s time to take your Audi in for service with a trusted mechanic.
One of those signs is a soft brake pedal. You probably have run into this before. You go to press on the brake and it doesn’t respond immediately for a crisp, clean reaction.
If your brake pedal has been feeling soft, here’s what to do.
Causes of Soft Brake Pedals
There are many causes of soft brake pedals. The first sign is when you step on the brakes and they don’t seem to respond immediately. What you want to feel is a firm stop without lag time. This lag time can mean the difference between and accident and a close call. If your brake pedal feels soft when you step on it, like it’s failing to provide adequate resistance, many things could be to blame.
Those potential issues could include:
Low Brake Fluid
When engaging the brake pedal, a lot of things start happening. Brake fluid is sent through the brake lines, flowing into the caliper. This pressure makes the caliper piston out, which causes friction by pressing the brake pad against the rotor. This friction is what causes the car to slow down and stop.
Without enough brake fluid in the system, the caliper is not able to piston out as far, meaning the brake pads can’t make full contact with the rotor. This is why it may take longer to come to a stop. You will also feel that the brake pedal feels spongy. Loss of braking power can occur in extreme cases.
Air in the Brake Lines
This is another top cause of spongy brakes. When applying the brakes, the air in the lines won’t allow the fluid flow to reach the brakes, which gives you a softer pedal. This is very dangerous even though it may not seem so at first.
If the air is not allowed to bleed out of the system, the brakes could fail entirely. As you can imagine, this can result in a deadly situation. This is why you need to get your brakes inspected on a regular basis. It’s in the best interests of your safety and those around you.
Worn Brake Pads
When you press on the brake pedal, the pads become engaged and cause friction. This a vital process when it comes to stopping the Audi but over time, this action causes the brake pads to wear down. When they get too thin, they are unable to create enough friction to properly and quickly stop the car, which compromises reaction time.
The result is a soft or spongy brake pedal when pressed. On top of the feeling, you may hear some sounds accompanied with it. These include squealing or grinding noises when applying the brakes. If you hear these sounds, get your Audi to a mechanic ASAP. This means the pads have completely worn down and are no longer providing cushion.
Malfunctioning Master Cylinder
When the brake pedal is engaged, hydraulic fluid goes from the master cylinder to the brakes, providing the force necessary to stop the car. If the master cylinder is experiencing a problem of some kind, this can result in the brake pedal feeling soft or spongy. Again, this is very dangerous because it takes the car longer to come to a stop.
So, why would the master cylinder malfunction? There could be several reasons for this. First, a leak in the system could lower the pressure suddenly, which doesn’t allow the fluid to reach the brakes as easily. The piston in the cylinder could also experience damage, which could prevent it from working correctly. Again, if you think your master cylinder is malfunctioning, or you’re just not sure why your brakes feel soft, call your Dallas mechanic immediately.
Driving on bad brakes will only make the problem worse and cause further damage to the system, coupled with the obvious damage to your safety and that of your passengers and passers by.
Contact Hance’s European in Dallas
Here at Hance’s European, we specialize in all kinds of Audi vehicles, and can address any issue you may be having with your make and model, including brake work. In fact, we have decades of hands-on training, and have all the right tools, training and knowledge necessary for excellent brake maintenance, repair and replacement for luxury brands like Audi.
If your brakes are feeling off, book your appointment now with our certified Audi service technicians at (214) 761-8823 in Dallas or complete our online form. You will find us at 1850 West Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.