0

So I don't know if this is a real thing or something in my head but searching mainly returns issues with broken/spongy brakes and I don't think this is that. So I figured I'd ask you guys.

All my life I driven mainly one car - a 2006 Nissan Altima. I know it isn't the nicest car but after 15 years of ownership I have gotten very used to it and it runs well-enough. The one thing I like about it is that the brake (and accelerator) feels firm. Even at low speeds the brake requires a bit of foot force to depress.

Over the years while traveling, I have had the opportunity to drive other (rental) cars and I've noticed something: many of these cars tend to have incredibly "soft" brakes. This is especially true when I just start the car up and idle/drive slowly out of the parking lot. The brake is so soft and I'm not used to it so I end up constantly slamming the brakes. The soft brakes are mostly noticeable when driving very slowly and they do tend to stiffen a bit when traveling at normal road speeds.

I don't think the soft brakes are a mechanical issue since I notice it mainly on newer (rental) cars. As far as I can tell this is only a subset of new cars and might inflict luxury vehicles more than economy cars? My partners 2019 Mini Cooper is especially affected by this issue.

So my question is - why would some cars have softer brake pedals than others?

1

Most cars ( any I know ) have had power brakes for decades . Usually vacuum assist. The manufacturer designs them for the resistance , or assist he thinks customers want. So different manufacture and different models have different pressure requirements. Of course if there is a malfunction, brake pedal effort will increase .

3
  • So is there some way to figure out what cars have what "assist". Or even better is there a way to change the assist?
    – John
    May 11 at 20:57
  • There’s a lot of variation and it’s hard to predict. I can see some sense though in setting a vehicle up so that the accelerator and brake pedals require about the same amount of force in normal operation, since you operate them with the same foot.
    – Frog
    May 12 at 6:41
  • I have not seen a car without power brakes in decades. May 12 at 13:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.