Brake Pedal Goes to Floor When Engine Running? 3 Fixes

Have you ever been in a situation where your brake pedal goes to the floor when engine is running? Probably yes and we can all attest it isn’t a funny situation.

A break pad on the floor while driving isn’t only dangerous to the driver but it’s also disastrous for other road users especially when you’re driving at a very high speed.

The scenario is equivalent to driving a car without a functional break which isn’t advisable as you could lose control and crash into objects in front.

The possible ways to fix this issue are by checking your brake fluid Level or getting a new brake cylinder.

Notwithstanding, it’s also compulsory that you take your car to a mechanic If you notice that your brakes aren’t effective as they used to be before it totally gets damaged thereby leaving it on the ground.

In this article, you’ll learn what fixes to resort to if your brake pedal goes to the floor when the engine is running.

Why does Brake Pedal Goes to the Floor when Engine Running?

Firstly, The major reason why your brake Pedal Goes to the floor is due to Insufficient or drained brake fluid which helps to maintain the brake power.

The brake pedal compresses the piston in the braking cylinder as the driver presses the pedal down. The brake fluid particles are forced to go to the brake caliper by the increased pressure caused by this compression in the brake lines. The brake pads slide and squeal into the braking rotor as a result of the high pressure of the brake fluid.

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So, when the fluid is drained there won’t be enough pressure which will result in your brake pedal going to the floor without prior notification.

Secondly, a faulty brake pad cylinder could be responsible for your brake pedal falling to the ground.

By default, the brake pedal is connected to the master cylinder by a push rod, and it should feel solid under your leg when you press it. The master cylinder forces braking fluid to the front and back wheels while producing hydraulic pressure to engage the brakes.

Therefore, if any damage to the seals guarding the master cylinder is broken, it’ll lead to internal leakage thereby causing the brakes to have no effect.

Thirdly, a broken brake booster may be the cause of the brake pedal reaching the bottom yet the vehicle not stopping. When the driver presses the pedal, the power booster provides power assistance in the braking process. This indicates that you don’t need to exert a lot of force to stop the car. The engine is connected to the brake booster, which is located between the master cylinder and the brake pedal.

Finally, After installing a new master cylinder, many drivers have complained that the brake pedal becomes inoperative. This generally occurs if there is air in the brake lines because a new master cylinder installation does not include air bleeding. Air damages brake lines and makes them feel spongy and mushy instead of being firm when the brake pedal is applied because it restricts braking fluid from flowing inside them efficiently.

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3 Ways to Fix Brake Pedal Goes to Floor When Engine Running

It’s important to always confirm all the components of your vehicle are working properly before hitting the road to avoid being shocked to see that your brake pedal is on the floor when the engine is running.

Nevertheless, the issue is minor and can be fixed almost instantly if you have knowledge of a car break system.

You can start by troubleshooting the above three components to get your brake pedal firm once again.

1. Check Brake Fluid Level

The first thing to do is to check the level of your brake fluid (it should be full) and top it up if necessary.

However, if the brake fluid level keeps dropping constantly then proceed to check for leakages.

2. Check for Brake Fluid leakage

The first thing that comes to mind is to confirm if there’s no leakage in the brake lines that helps in delivering pressure to the brake system.

You can check for holes or break on any of the 4 wheels then proceed to replace the faulty parts.

3. Inspect the Brake Master Cylinder

The brake master cylinder should be checked next because it has seals to keep the oil inside closed. As mentioned in the preceding section, due to the age of the car, these seals may deteriorate with time, leading to brake fluid leaks. In this situation, a new master cylinder ought to be installed.

It’s recommended that you install a brand new brake master cylinder and not a rebuilt or fairly used one because the lifespan of a used cylinder is short. It could perform well at first but deteriorate over time.

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What Causes a Hard Brake Pedal?

An issue with the brake booster is always indicated by a hard brake pedal. By applying pressure to the brake master cylinder, the brake booster uses vacuum air from the engine to help push the brake pedal.


A brake pedal going to the ground when a car engine is running is very risky especially when it happens in a case of emergency because the inevitable outcome is a deadly accident.

However, it’s advisable to take your vehicle to a mechanic If your start noticing that your brake pedal isn’t firm as It used to be.

In addition, endeavor to top up or change the brake fluid at selected intervals to maintain the viscosity.