My brakes are hard to press and it’s stuck under 2nd gear. Is it my brake pads?

My brakes are hard to press and it's stuck under 2nd gear.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
It sounds like you may have two different problems. The first is a bad or leaking brake booster or another brake problem causing you to push the brakes harder than normal.

The second problem is a transmission shifting issue. Being stuck in second gear may be a linkage problem or an internal problem that would require a transmission mechanic to test the pressures to see if the problem can be fixed or if the transmission needs overhauled.

I’d recommend having your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic. They will be able to confirm my suspicions about your brake pedal and check out the issue with your gears

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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If you have a stiff brake pedal and the vehicle has a vacuum pump or hydraulic brake booster, some common issues could be a missing serpentine belt, a failing electric pump, or low power steering fluid.
Vacuum – or really lack of vacuum pressure – is the most common cause of a hard brake pedal, and therefore the first thing to look at when a hard pedal is present. Any brake booster (whether from Master Power or any other supplier) needs a vacuum source to operate.
Malfunctioning ABS System

If the ABS system malfunctions, it may cause a loss of hydraulic pressure, resulting in a hard brake pedal. If the ABS warning light is on, it indicates that there is a problem with the ABS system, which requires further diagnosis and repair by a certified mechanic.

When brakes are not as responsive as what they should be, or if the brake pedal “sinks” down to the floor, this is a possible indication of a braking system leak. It could be a brake fluid leak, or a brake hose air leak.
Hard braking is defined as reducing your speed by 8-10 MPH in 1 second. Dangers of Hard Braking: Hard braking is dangerous because when doing so, you are unable to react to surprises that present themselves.
With the car turned off, pump the brake pedal four or five times until you get a hard brake pedal. Continue to hold the brake pedal down with moderate pressure and start the vehicle. The brake pedal should drop. If this brake pedal remains hard, there is a problem with the brake booster, such as a ripped diaphragm.
The ABS modulator is the hydraulic assembly in vehicles that use the anti-lock braking system (ABS) to optimize the brake pressure. A damaged modulator may lead to malfunctioning of the brake valve resulting in spongy brakes.
When ABS is working properly, the driver may feel the brake pedal suddenly drop, followed by a rapid pulsing sensation. There may be a grinding or buzzing noise coming from the vehicle during the period ABS is activated. It may also feel like the brake pedal is pushing back when ABS activates.
Pedal and hold

Hold. Bleed. Repeat. Loud callouts of “pump it up” or “pressure” and “hold it down” can make the garage or driveway sound like a Sunday morning at the Waffle House, but the two-person procedure is a tried and true way to get the brakes bled quickly.

Constant hard braking can trigger your ABS when it isn`t needed, wearing out and stressing the system prematurely. It can also reduce tyre traction and wear a flat spot onto one or more of your tyres and damage your drive shaft.
Hard braking and aggressive acceleration increase wear and tear on vehicles, creating a greater need for repairs and compromising the vehicle`s safety. Over time, hard braking significantly decreases the lifespan of the brakes and wears out the pads, requiring them to be replaced more often.
Yes master cylinders can fail without leakage, the clutch master cylinder has a piston inside and there are separate channels for hi-pressure line and return(low pressure) line and their location in the cylinder differs for manufacturers.
The most common causes of your brakes not releasing is a seized caliper or brake pad. This typically occurs due to rusting or ageing. Typically, you will notice your vehicle pulling to one side when you press down on your brakes.
A bad ABS module can behave erratically, making your brakes lock up even under normal braking. You might even notice unusual behavior from the brakes, like random clicking noises.
When air gets into your brake system, you have no choice but to bleed it. However, you can get air out of brake lines without a brake bleeder. The brake pedal may feel soft or spongy if there is air in your brake lines.
Air is much easier to compress than liquid, so bubbles in your brake lines act like a very soft spring in that solid column of brake fluid between your foot and the brake calipers or drums. Bleeding the brakes will flush that air out.
Hissing. A hissing noise is usually the brake booster leaking air. There could be a leak in the vacuum line, the booster diaphragm, or the master cylinder. A small leak could cause a hissing sound when you press on the brake pedal or let off.
When your ABS system malfunctions are can also cause a spongy brake pedal. Your ABS system is designed to allow the driver to maintain more control of the car in a high-speed stop.
One way to familiarize yourself with the operation of ABS is to test drive the vehicle at a speed above which the ABS activates (usually above 10 mph) in an unobstructed parking lot and apply the brakes firmly.
If your car is older than that, the easiest way to find out if your car has ABS brakes is to find a quiet road and relive your learner driver days by performing an emergency stop – if your car has ABS it`ll stop without locking its wheel, if there`s no ABS your wheels will lock and you`ll slide to a halt in a cloud of …
pump the brakes.

Pumping the brakes turns the system on and off. ABS pumps the brakes for you automatically, at a much faster rate, and allows better steering control.

No vehicle steers as easily on a slippery road as on dry pavement, but an ABS will still help you steer to safety. Don`t: Pump your brakes or take your foot off the brake pedal, because that will release the anti-lock system. ONLY pump your brake if the ABS fails and your vehicle starts to skid.
If you have a stiff brake pedal and the vehicle has a vacuum pump or hydraulic brake booster, some common issues could be a missing serpentine belt, a failing electric pump, or low power steering fluid.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My brakes are hard to press and it’s stuck under 2nd gear. Is it my brake pads?
ANSWER : It sounds like you may have two different problems. The first is a bad or leaking brake booster or another brake problem causing you to push the brakes harder than normal.

The second problem is a transmission shifting issue. Being stuck in second gear may be a linkage problem or an internal problem that would require a transmission mechanic to test the pressures to see if the problem can be fixed or if the transmission needs overhauled.

I’d recommend having your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic. They will be able to confirm my suspicions about your brake pedal and check out the issue with your gears

I replaced the brake light switch. Gear lever unlocked because it had locked. Now the brakes feel hard.
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. You need to check the brake switch install adjustment. You may have the switch adjusted too tight and it is holding the the brake pedal partly down. This will cause the brake master cylinder to not release the brakes when you let off the pedal. Readjust the switch away from the pedal until you feel some free play again in the pedal. This should fix the problem. If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

Loose gearbox that won’t find 2nd or 5th gear, sometimes hard to differentiate between 1st and 3rd.
ANSWER : There are a couple of possibilities. The first thing that comes to mind is of course the shifter itself. There is a nylon ball and socket joint at the base of the gearshift lever that sometimes falls apart, making the feel of the shifter very vague. Additionally, there are links to the transmission shift linkage that involve nylon bushings and joints that can fall apart. Both problems are very common on your car. The other less common possibility is that you have a bad motor mount that is allowing the transmission to move around too much when you try to shift gears. either way, it’s not a big deal to fix, and probably won’t require expensive transmission work. If you contact Your Mechanic, they can send a technician to your home or office to check out you shifting issue and let you know what repairs it will take to correct it.

car hesitation in 1st and 2nd gears , its totally fine in higher gears . hesitation means light jerks , what’s the issue?
ANSWER : Hi there. You may be having an engine misfire since it is only when you are accelerating. The misfire may be due to worn spark plugs or the ignition system coil failing. The ignition system includes the spark plugs, wires, and coils which need to be checked for signs of failure. I recommend having the engine completely diagnosed and scanned for codes to see what is causing the misfire in the engine. You may only need a tuneup or may need more ignition components. I recommend having a technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect for trouble codes and replace any failing components.

Supportive bar attached to brake pedal interrupts proper braking process
ANSWER : It’s possible to have someone alter the brake pedal or adapt a brake pedal from a different vehicle. You may call around to some customization shops to see if anyone is interested in taking on the project. But first, I would try reaching out to the selling dealer with your concern – especially since it is a new model. Good luck.

Car in park shifter will move through gears but wont shift through the gears its stuck in neutral have emergency brake on so it wont roll
ANSWER : From what you’ve described, it sounds like the shifter cable came off at the transmission or the shifter. I’d suggest checking the shift linkage on the transmission to see if the cable came off. This is due to the connector end bushing falling apart and not being able to hold the cable on any longer. Some cables have to be replaced as a whole and as with others the bushing can be replaced to fix the cable. I’d suggest contacting a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who can come diagnose your shifting issue and make the necessary repairs to your vehicle. Good luck.

When I put my foot on the brake my back left brake light goes off, when I take it off the brake the brake light comes on
ANSWER : I would suggest trying to disconnect and reconnect the wiring to the rear lights. I have seen these older Toyota vehicles rear lighting short out on the lights themselves due to the way the light circuit was made on the lamp housing. Look at the housing circuit on the light to see if one is touching another, and that could tell you why it is malfunctioning. There could also be a problem with the brake light switch. If you are not comfortable dealing with wires, I recommend getting in touch with a certified mechanic who can look at your brake light issue for you to see what’s going on.

EPC light on 2004 Jetta. Code said brake switch faulty, but brakes lights worked. Replaced brake switch, now no brake lights.
ANSWER : Hi there. The first thing that pops in my mind beyond of what you have listed is perhaps the electrical harness attached to the brake switch. Perhaps the harness itself is damaged or you have an exposed wire, loose ground wire somewhere. You might want to have a professional mobile mechanic come to your location and complete a brake lights not working inspection to help you diagnose this issue.