I have a 2002 Toyota Avalon. Overall the car is in excellent shape, no major issues.

Recently, I have noticed the brake pedal requiring increasing pressure, but only when moving (which is obviously when I am using the brakes!)

When I come to a stop, the pedal immediately "softens" and feels less stiff. For instance, if I am going down a hill, I need to apply decent pressure to come to a stop at an intersection at the bottom. As soon as I reach the bottom of the hill, my foot will sink an inch or two down with the pedal.

Stopping distance and such are normal. I do have a little vibration when braking so I know I need to get the rotors machined or replaced, but is this pedal issue related?

  • Have you had any brake work recently? Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 1:25
  • probably brake booster related Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


It is possible you have a vacum issue that is effecting the brake booster.Check the hose between the booster and the engine for cracks.There is also a check valve mounted in the hose.Do you detect an engine vibration or noise if you pump the brake pedal several times while stopped and in park?With the engine off depress the brake pedal several times until it gets firm.With your foot still on the brake start the engine,does the pedal depress a little more before stopping?If not the problem may be in the booster.

  • Agreed : Looks like a vacuum "issue", or just an effect of the booster fill-in time. When downhill, foot fixed on the brake pedal, released from the gas pedal, engine vacuum operates.
    – hornetbzz
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 4:18

This definitely sounds like a Power Brake Booster issue. If you stop at a light and the pedal slowly floors out then you likely need a New PBB. Check your Booster: Turn on the car and press the brake pedal, hold it for about 15 seconds, if it floors out, chances are you need a new PBB. Also Press on the brake pedal, if you hear a "WHAUGHT" sound (vacuum in reverse) when releasing the pedal then you need a new PBB. Very easy fix. about 1 1/2 hour for the experienced mechanic and 5-7 hours for the inexperienced mechanic.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .