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    Car Brakes Too Sensitive: Why and How to Fix

    December 15, 2021

    We want our brakes to work fast but too much of a good thing is bad too. If your brakes are TOO reactive and you look like a permit driver braking hard at every light, you are in the right place. Just as brakes that are too slow are dangerous, so are brakes that are too fast. There are actually common reasons for sensitive brakes and lots of cures too. 

    Car brakes too sensitive

    Usually, the brakes are being too sensitive because there is contamination in the hydraulic system. It’s best to isolate the cause and get your brakes repaired promptly so you can react appropriately to any road situation. 

    Why are my brakes so sensitive?

    Common reasons for sensitive brakes include:

    • Excessive brake fluid escapes the reservoir and applies pressure to the caliper pistons, making the brakes too sensitive. 
    • Contaminated brake pads and rotors can also cause brake sensitivity - anything from transmission oil to brake fluid can get into the brakes and cause your brake pads to break down prematurely. Your rotors can also warp from excessive heat and become glazed with brake pad material. 
    • Corrosion on calipers can cause them to bind, holding the brake pad too close to the rotor and magnifying braking force.
    • Faulty brake lines can apply partial force to the brakes too. Brake hoses carrying the fluid pressure break down overtime and don’t have any way to let the pressure escape.

    How to fix sensitive brakes?

    Check your brake fluid - if the reservoir looks full, drain a little using a siphon and be careful to not contaminate the brake fluid as that is dangerous and will reduce your braking performance. 

    Get a brake cleaning to determine if there is too much rust or corrosion on the brakes and to see if you need a new set of brake pads and rotors. Disintegrated brake pads can cause brake sensitivity so you can get those replaced. With rotors, you can get them resurfaced to get rid of rust and corrosion before installing a full new set. 

    Bring your car to a mechanic to see if it’s the calipers that need to be replaced or if you need all new brake lines, a common issue with older vehicles. 

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