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#4519241 - 09/18/17 08:47 AM How to get that new car brake pedal feel?
Spetz Offline


Registered: 01/23/14
Posts: 405
Loc: Australia
Hi guys,

With new cars the brake pedal bites instantly.
I've done a brake bleed on a couple of my cars but there is still about an inch of travel before the brakes bite.

I've driven a friend's old car that had that instant bite to the brake pedal.

The only thing I can think of is either some parts go soft (lines etc) or that the factory does a power brake bleed and that's what it takes to get rid of any and all air bubbles?
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#4519245 - 09/18/17 08:50 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
That is usually caused by tapered wear on the pads. Take a look at them. Only fix is new pads.
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#4519250 - 09/18/17 08:53 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12701
Loc: Onondaga County
Does the vehicle have rear drums? I've seen that a lot with maladjusted rear drums.
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#4519267 - 09/18/17 09:45 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
wallyuwl Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 1776
Loc: Wisconsin
Yup, new fluid and new pads would take care of it. Even new pads can have a bit of travel if they are cheap ones. I just did a brake bleed and still had some travel. I replaced the new (but cheap) pads with better ones and now it brakes great.

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#4519270 - 09/18/17 09:49 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10306
Loc: Illinois
14-15 year old car and you are probably looking at replacing all hydraulic components. There is likely years of slack and wear in the system. Rubber lines give a bit more. Probably even wear on the pivot point of the pedal. A little wear at the top translates to more movement at the pedal.

I'd probably start with checking that everything is properly adjusted. I believe this car has rear disc brakes. Parking brake adjustment may still matter depending on how it is implemented.

After that's all confirmed, then any rubber hoses, which means bleeding the system again...

But perhaps the best solution is to adjust your expectations on a 14-15 year old car.
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#4519272 - 09/18/17 09:50 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4328
Loc: Taiwan
Sounds good to me. Dragging brakes waste energy.

I dunno how fast your leg moves when braking (and couldn't find out when I had a quick Google) but I doubt the extra delay is significant.

I too would suspect drum brakes, more specifically automatic adjusters, which often aren't automatic and often don't adjust.

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#4519273 - 09/18/17 09:51 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
I just replaced the front rotors and pads on the '08 CR-V. They were spongy before but stopped fine. Now, they'll throw you through the window if you're not careful. I've never done a brake job that made this kind of difference. The rotors were Wagner E-coated and the pads were Wagner ThermoQuiet ceramics. I noticed the old rotors had quite a bit of lip from where they were worn (why I replaced them) so the new rotors are somewhat thicker. I don't know if the brand makes a difference, but Wagner might've gained a loyal customer.
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#4519283 - 09/18/17 10:03 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7471
Loc: S California
My complaint on my 84 Civic was a brake pedal that was getting just a little soft. I already had good pads and shoes and braided steel brake lines. I replaced the master cylinder and that fixed it.

I do have one question about braided steel brake lines. As I understand it, if they are not an OEM part they are not DOT approved. Is the fact that a replacement is not DOT approved ever a problem?

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#4519297 - 09/18/17 10:33 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9559
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
When I worked at a Porsche dealer we always vacuum degassed brake fluid before using. Amazing how much air is trapped in the fluid that can't be seen. I suspect that many or most new car manufactures do the vacuum degas on brake and PS fluids.
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#4519315 - 09/18/17 11:00 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: OneEyeJack]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10306
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
My complaint on my 84 Civic was a brake pedal that was getting just a little soft. I already had good pads and shoes and braided steel brake lines. I replaced the master cylinder and that fixed it.

I do have one question about braided steel brake lines. As I understand it, if they are not an OEM part they are not DOT approved. Is the fact that a replacement is not DOT approved ever a problem?


If you were in an accident, it might come up if someone wants to claim it's the reason you hit another person, couldn't avoid the accident, etc.

It goes without saying that if they are poor quality and fail....
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#4519328 - 09/18/17 11:11 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2223
Loc: The Northeast
I've tagged this interesting thread for later.
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#4519335 - 09/18/17 11:15 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11963
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Glaze can cause poor bite: I like to hacksaw grooves in my pads to allow gas to escape.
NO! Not THAT gas, The pads on the car!

But it depends..
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#4519337 - 09/18/17 11:16 AM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
Dorian Offline


Registered: 12/07/15
Posts: 300
Loc: Ohio
I really like my Wagner E coated rotors and ceramic pads as well. The 99 still has a light and spongy brake pedal though. I have noticed that they are not smooth when you come to a complete stop when it is cold out. It takes a bit of getting use to.
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#4519502 - 09/18/17 03:05 PM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
Brybo86 Offline


Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 2947
Loc: Chicago, IL
My thoughts are that
Brake pads with the rubber integrated shims need to compress slightly before grabbing so there is a bit of travel.
Old rubber brake lines flex a little when the pedal is pushed

Some air in lines.

If you are bleeding DO NOT shake the bottle of brake fluid! It introduces little tiny Bubbles into the fluid which then goes into your brake lines.

Just like a can of polyurethane varnish. You stir, not shake them.
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#4519529 - 09/18/17 03:43 PM Re: How to get that new car brake pedal feel? [Re: Spetz]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7133
Loc: Marshfield , MA
The more new brake fluid, the harder the pedal it seems. Used 2 qts when I replaced all the Rat's hard lines, hoses and a bunch of other brake parts. About a pint a corner. Gravity bleed takes time, but it proves your work. grin2
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Thick oil is better grin2

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