Just bought a Honda Civic lx 2004; all the brakes have been replaced, and the fluids have been looked at by two different mechanics. Both mechanics he had drive it, both say they are fine but there is so much play with the brake pedal. It's frightening how low the pedal goes before it seems the catch, and god forbid I have to stop last second it takes almost 4 to reach the catching point. I feel like there has to be something wrong. Is it just I'm not used to having a car where you press the brakes to damn near the floor to feel a pressure, or is this an issue others are having? Would love to hear any idea or ways I can go about doing something about this before someone stops dead in front of me and I can't stop in time.

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! You could always try to get the brakes bled. If they feel like they are spongy (the pedal has give to it), this might be the problem. Once bled correctly, they should hit higher up in the pedal arc. If that doesn't cure it, then you might need a new master cylinder. May 29, 2019 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


I'd suggest you

  1. Fill up with brake fluid. If you're low on brake fluid, then air can easily get into your brake lines, causing this problem.
  2. Bleed the brakes. Sometimes the brake lines can get air in them, in which case you need to bleed them. It's not too hard to do it yourself if you have a partner, or you ca take it to a mechanic if you don't want to try it.
  3. If the above don't work, you might need a new brake master cylinder. Generally that's not too hard either (look for a YouTube video, or ask another question here on MV.SE), but again you can take it to a mechanic if you'd rather.

If you've had two mechanics look at it, that's scary. That definitely shouldn't be.

Either there is air in the lines, or the master cylinder may have one of the two circuits is shot. A leaky seal can cause the fluid to flow around the plunger instead of into the brake lines. You'll still get some braking, but not a lot.

The other possibility is that the pushrod just needs to be extended, or might be the wrong part.

I would definitely get another opinion.

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