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The brakes on your car operate hydraulically. This means that when the brake pedal is pressed, fluid is pushed through the brake lines to a brake caliper at each wheel. The fluid pressure causes the caliper to press the brake pads against the rotors, which slows the vehicle due to friction on the rotor. The harder the brake pedal is pressed, the higher the line pressure that causes the caliper to grip the rotor. When a metal brake line leaks or when a rubber brake line is cracked, swollen, or leaking, the brake pedal feels spongy or sinks to the floor when pressed.
Any time your brake pedal doesn’t feel like it used to, or if you notice fluid leaking by any of the wheels, get the brake system inspected. Any lines that have swelled, have been rubbed through, or are leaking should be replaced with high quality parts. The brake system should be flushed with clean fluid from an unopened container.
If you have a spongy or sinking brake pedal, it is imperative to get the brake system checked to prevent unsafe driving conditions. These symptoms can lead to increased stopping distance and the brakes may not function well in a panic stop. This can easily lead to an accident.