Q: Brake fluid replaced, now car will not stop unless brake pedal is nearly to the floor.

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I had the brake fluid replaced by recommendation of my Honda service department (after a state inspection). I left with the car and nearly had to push the brake pedal all the way to the floor to get the car to stop. Still drove the car home. Called when I got home and left a message for my service representative (past service department hours). Spoke to someone else the next morning who said do not drive the car (safety issue) and have it towed to the dealership. Now I have to have the master cylinder replaced. What happened here? Is this a result of the service performed? Should I expect them to pay for this, or should I?

One of the most common causes of the brake pedal going to the floor is a loss of brake fluid. Generally, this is easy to detect due to the fact that there is usually brake fluid leaking on the ground underneath the vehicle. The brake booster is a mechanism that uses vacuum pressure to take the force being applied to the brake pedal and amplify it. If the booster is bad, then the full amount of force needed to activate the master cylinder and pressurize the brake fluid isn’t going to be there. The pedal will go all the way to the floor and the car will be harder to stop.

Another possible cause for this may be a failing master cylinder. The master cylinder is where the brake fluid is compressed creating the necessary hydraulic pressure the braking system needs in order for it to stop your vehicle. When the master cylinder fails, this may cause a loss of hydraulic pressure which will usually also cause the brake pedal to go to the floor. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your braking system.

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