A brake pedal that is stiff and won’t depress can be caused by several different things, including air in the hydraulic system, a leak in the hydraulic system, or simply dirt and grime on the pedal.
Your car won’t start due to a faulty battery, fuel pump, starter motor, or ignition switch. If none of these components work properly, you will need professional assistance for your car to run again.
Having trouble starting your car is frustrating. If the brake pedal is also very hard, it can be very confusing. Does this have anything to do with each other? A car not starting along with a stiff brake pedal can be caused by several factors.
In some cases, these issues can be diagnosed by a mechanic, while specialized tools are required in others. Continue reading to learn some tips for fixing the problem.
Quick Honda Troubleshooting Tips:
First, make sure your battery connections are secure. Make sure your battery is charged across all posts by checking the voltage. To rule out battery film on the battery posts preventing connections, I will check the voltage on the connections side if the connections appear corroded.
Having checked those, I would examine the small smarter wire connecting to the starter via a connector for battery voltage. The battery voltage should be provided when the ignition is turned on.
In the absence of voltage, there is something wrong before the starter. The starter contacts may be bad if the voltage is present. Contacts, for starters, are available online for about $20. The swap is fairly straightforward. Alternatively, you can replace the starter entirely, which will cost much more.
How Come My Brake Pedal Is Stiff, And My Car Won’t Start?
A stiff brake pedal and a non-starting car could be caused by a number of things. But checking them out might reveal what’s causing the problem!
1. Having A Bad Starter
The starter motor is likely to be the problem if your car clicks when you turn the key, and the brake is hard. The first symptom may not be this one. Before the starter motor ‘catches’ and fires the engine, the car likely had difficulty starting.
Depending on the circumstances, your brakes may lock if your starter cable is disconnected from the battery. If this happens, you will also hear loud clicks when you turn your ignition key.
2. Ignition Switch Failure
It is not always the case that a hard brake pedal is the first sign that the ignition switch is bad. A car that stalls are another early symptom. The keyless ignition in your car can be discarded as a possibility.
Your ignition switch may be damaged if you drive an older vehicle. You’re likely dealing with a faulty switch if you’re experiencing flickering dashboard lights, slow engine cranking, and broken brake lights.
3. Exhausted Brake Vacuum
Vacuum leaks and faulty brake boosters can lead to a hard brake pedal. There must be a brake vacuum for the power assist feature in newer vehicles to work. You can get a stiff brake vacuum if you push on the brake without running the engine.
It is usual for the brakes to feel hard when the car is off because the vacuum is generated only when the engine is running. However, a mechanic will need to test the brake booster and check for a vacuum leak if the brake pedal continues to feel hard after the vehicle has been running for some time.
During engine operation, a vacuum is generated. You will find it harder to activate the brake light switch after pressing the brake pedal a few times with the engine off.
The brake pedal will feel hard as soon as you press on the pedal a few times with the engine off. Press the brake pedal hard enough if you can’t get the brake lights to come on.
4. Blown Fuses
The car would also be unable to start if a fuse was missing or blown. Make sure there are no missing fuses in the fuse box. Check the connection between the two terminals of each fuse to see if it’s blown.
A bad fuse has a broken connection. If you find any blown or missing fuses, replace them, and try to start the car again. Make sure the car’s wiring is not damaged or corroded.
Battery cables must be tightened on the terminals of the battery. Wiring issues could prevent power from getting to a component and stop the car from starting.
5. Neutral Safety Switch
An automatic transmission’s neutral safety switch communicates the shifter’s position to the computer. The function of this switch is to only allow the car to start in park or neutral.
The car may not start if the neutral safety switch is malfunctioning. The shifter can be moved to different positions while you try starting the car to test it. In this case, the neutral safety switch probably needs to be replaced if the car starts while shifting.
6. Bad Battery
There is also the possibility that the battery is to blame. When the car is off, a battery voltage of 12.5 volts should be present. The car may start if the voltage is higher than that, but it may not start if it is lower.
During low voltage, the dash lights and other electronics may work, but the radio or door locks may not. Make sure the battery voltage is correct by using a multimeter. Replace the battery if the voltage is low, or charge the battery, jump-start, or charge the battery.
7. Brake Light Switch
A bad brake light switch can result in the brake lights not coming on when you press the brake pedal. By pushing the brake pedal, the brake light switch triggers the brake lights, and the car’s computer knows the brake pedal has been pressed.
The computer cannot receive this signal, either because the brake pedal is not pressed hard enough or due to a faulty brake light switch.
How Much Will It Cost To Repair?
A car that won’t start and a hard brake pedal can have many causes, so the cost of repairing the problem will vary widely. However, an inexpensive fix could be as simple as replacing a bad fuse.
- Labor will cost an additional $75 to $100, while the part will cost between $50 and $100. It costs $75 to $125 per part for more expensive assemblies containing the lock. There won’t be much increase in labor costs, however.
- There is a wide range of prices for a replacement ignition switch. It is possible to replace the switch on some carmakers’ locks, while it is easier and cheaper to replace them as a separate unit on others.
- It costs between $60 and $150 to replace a bad starter motor. There is a range of $100 to $175 for labor. So approximately $160 to $325 is what you should expect to pay in total.
- There is an expensive fix for brake vacuum boosters. A part will cost between $150 and $300, and labor will cost another $200. So, an estimated $350 to $500 will be spent on the project.
- Fuse replacement is a cheap fix. Pay attention to the starter fix. Ensure that the amp rating is correct. There is a specific requirement for each make and model of car.
- An amp rating of 125 amps or more is generally considered to be adequate. It is possible that the fuse is not in the fuse box but rather ‘inline’ between the fuse box and the starter.
- For a battery replacement, a new one may cost between $100 and $200. Car shops are the most likely place to replace brake light switches, neutral safety switches, ignition switches, starters, or brake boosters.
- Replacement of a neutral safety switch generally costs $100 to $140. Labor costs will range from $60 to $100, while parts will cost around $40.
A “hard” pedal can occur when anything causes a loss of vacuum within the brake booster, such as repeatedly pressing the brake pedal after the engine has been shut off.
If you press the START/STOP button, the vehicle will go to the accessory instead of starting if the brake pedal doesn’t move enough to activate the brake switch.
After turning on the brake lights, pressing the pedal firmly enough should allow it to start. Once the engine starts, you should feel the pedal sink.
The brake pedal cannot be pressed under any circumstances because there are no mechanical interlocks. So, activating the brake lights was just a matter of pressing the brake pedal hard enough after your buddy pressed the unlock button.
A brake booster should hold enough vacuum to allow the brake pedal to be easily depressed at least 1 to 2 times, even after the vehicle has been sitting for a day or two or more.
Suppose you’re absolutely certain that nobody is depleting the vacuum supply in the brake booster by pressing the brake pedal after shutting the engine off. In that case, you may have a faulty check valve or a leaking brake booster.