Brake pedal goes to the floor when engine running – Here’s the fix

Brake pedal

The brake is probably the most essential part of the vehicle, especially when you are driving at high speed. When you press on it, you trust it with your life because you expect it to work and stop the vehicle. If it, instead, goes to the floor, it can be quite dangerous. This is why we always recommend that you keep your brakes in top shape and never use the car if the brakes are not working well. 

The brake pedal going to the floor is not unheard of. And, there are things we can do to fix this problem. Our complete guide here will help you in this regard.

Brake pedal goes to the floor when engine running – causes

The first step to fixing a problem is identifying the cause. This particular problem can arise due to a number of reasons. We shall discuss the most common ones here:

1) No brake fluid

brake fluidBrake fluid is to brakes what oxygen is to us. Without the brake fluid, there will be no friction that’s required to stop the car. The lack of pressure will cause the brake to go to the floor and have no effect on the car. In other words, the car won’t stop.

2) Air in brake lines

brake linesThe brake lines need to be clear of all air. If there’s air leakage into these lines, it will prevent the free flow of the fluid to the brakes, causing the same problem as above.

3) Problems in the brake master cylinder

brake master cylinderThe master cylinder works to preserve the pressure that pushes the fluid to the right place. It also activates the brakes. If the cylinder is worn-out or not working properly, the chances are that your brakes will fail.

4) Problems in the brake booster

brake boosterSometimes, even though the brake pedal reaches the floor, it manages to stop the car. The stopping distance will be higher but the car will stop. This happens when the booster is faulty. Even in this case, you should immediately attend to the problem.

Brake pedal goes to the floor when engine running

Since this is quite a significant problem, it is easy to diagnose. You will know that something’s wrong immediately and that’s the signal you should latch on to. 

To start off with, check the brake lines and calipers. If the brake fluid is below the normal level, it indicates that it is leaking. To be sure of this, check the wheels. There may be oil residue. The brake lines also may have a hole or opening that’s causing the leakage. Once you identify where the problem lies, you can replace the particular part.

If you see that the brake fluid is not leaking, you can move to the master cylinder. Check whether its seals are worn-out. If yes, you should replace it with a new one. We advise against buying used cylinders because they will not last long.


Performing regular checks and ensuring that your brakes are in top condition is all that’s required to avoid this problem. In case you start seeing signals of wear and tear or braking problems, it is best to avoid running the engine and head over to the mechanic. This will keep you and your car safe.

If you have any other questions in this regard, we invite you to speak to us.

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