The car in question is a 2009 Toyota Corolla, ABS Brakes, Automatic transmission and has 250,000kms.

The car is new to me so the service history of brake system is not available. What has been done already:

  • New pads and rotors for front brakes
  • New brake "shoes" for the rear drum brakes
  • Inspected brake system for any leaks and no leaks found.
  • Brake fluid level is at the correct level, although not sure about the last time the brake fluid was changed.

The issue here is that the "biting" point of the brake pedal feels too low compared to other cars I have driven.

What can I do to raise the "biting" point of the brake pedal?

Would changing the brake fluid help with this? I'm a bit reluctant to do this as I'm not sure how to bleed brakes on a car with ABS.

Thank you in advance.

  • 1
    "although not sure about the last time the brake fluid was changed." - well plan on flushing it in that case. You really should know the history of your brake fluid. If it's old, it'll have picked up a lot of water, which makes it corrosive and also lowers the boiling point which can cause you to lose breaking power.
    – John B
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


The biting point of a brake pedal can vary from one model vehicle to another. Car and Driver magazine often comments on that specific location when performing vehicle reviews. Some models have what they consider excessive travel before engaging, while others have a short, immediate actuation.

If your brakes are solid once the actuation point is reached, you may not need to bleed the system and if you're unfamiliar with the process, could impact negatively the operation.

It's unlikely but not impossible (due to the age and mileage of the car) that you have some expansion of the flexible components. Request of a friend to press firmly on the brake pedal while you observe the portion of the brake line that is running from the frame to the wheel assembly.

With power brakes, the motor should be running, and appropriate safety procedures should be implemented. Consider the hand brake, of course, and perhaps a set of wheel chocks for a second level of protection. If you have access to a vehicle lift, the effort becomes that much safer. You may be able to place your hand on the flexible segment and feel expansion while the pedal is being pressed.

If there is no problem at this location (all four wheels), your particular model may have a long travel pedal.

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