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Q: Brake pedal is hard to push

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A week or so after having a mechanic change my oil and brake fluids, I noticed that my brake pedal was very tight. The pedal was actually hard to push with one foot. I was also scared that I would not be able to stop rapidly if it was necessary. Lately I have been driving the 4 runner with extreme caution. The brakes work they are just a bit like an old car.

My car has 187500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to provide my insight.

There is a possibility that they may have overfilled the brake reservoir with brake fluid. Start by checking that it has the proper amount. Secondly, it is possible that your brake booster is not working properly. When the brake pedal is depressed, a vacuum builds up in the booster which amplifies the pedal force, pressing on the piston in the master cylinder. The piston movement raises the hydraulic pressure in the cylinder. This hydraulic pressure is then applied to each respective brake cylinder and wheel cylinder, and acts to press the brake pads and shoes against the rotating discs and drums. The resulting friction converts the rotational energy to thermal energy, stopping the vehicle. With that said, when the brake booster fails, it will require much more energy to press the pedal and get the car to stop.

If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make any repairs as needed.

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