Q: Harsh brakes, almost lock up when pressed

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My 2013 Kia Soul is the first small car I've owned in a while, so I'm not sure if the brake sensitivity that I am experiencing is a defect or if I'm just too accustomed to brakes on trucks and vans. This car has less than 10,000 miles on it. When I just touch the brakes, the whole car stops, which is great. But, it stops so hard that sometimes the ABS activates on dry roads. Is this a problem? It seems kind of extreme.

Pedal effort is often a very subjective measure, although there are generally accepted standards provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) when developing a new vehicle. Many small cars and light trucks may have a soft or “over-boosted” feeling in the brake pedal. This is generally a normal condition, especially when compared to larger/heavier vehicles that often have larger brake rotors, or multi-piston brake calipers. In any event, it may be a good idea to have the vehicle checked out by a local dealer as this may be a warranty claim. The dealer will likely check the brake system fluid for air and/or contamination.

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