My Brake Pedal Is Stiff And Car Won’t Start

Certain vehicles work in specific ways to start the engine. For example, many use the key; for others, you must press the brake pedal first. Having a brake-locked car can be extremely aggravating, as you’re stuck with a vehicle that will not start. Are you unsure why your brake-locked vehicle won’t start?

Brakes can temporarily stiffen when the braking system overheats, caused by faulty braking fluids or damaged components. Here, you need to check the ignition and battery terminals for damage. If required, replace them and attempt to start your car in neutral mode.

In our guide, if you have an automatic transmission, you can learn more about why the brake is hard to push down and car wont start. By the end, you’ll see this is more common in older vehicles with automatic transmissions, but when the brake won’t depress to start car, you’ll know what to do to get it working properly. (Read What To Do With Old Rotors)

Brake won’t depress to start car

What Does It Mean When My Brake Pedal Is Stiff?

Because the brakes have become stiff, you cannot start the car. The incredibly stiff brake pedal refuses to depress even if there are no objects blocking the pedals. Do you find yourself in an unable to push to start, car won’t start, brake locked scenario?

Here are reasons that could cause this similar situation?

Exhausted Brake Vacuum

Nowadays, almost every car has power brakes, and the engine vacuum is crucial to the brake booster. When the car is turned off, a small quantity of vacuum is stored in the system, and when the car is turned off, pressing the brake pedals exhausts what is remaining in the reserve vacuum.

The brake pedal becomes stiff when there is no power assist available. Once the engine is started, the brakes are restored to their normal state.

Damaged Ignition Switch

If your car is old, there’s a possibility your ignition is failing. Starting a car with a bad ignition switch takes a lot of power. The car may then die after a few seconds in some situations.

Ignition switches supply the voltage required to ignite the mixture of air and fuel by causing sparks in the spark plug. Slow engine cranking and flickering dashboard lights are common symptoms of a bad ignition switch.

Battery Terminal or Faulty Starter Motor

If your starter cable is removed from the battery or there is not enough power in the battery, your brakes may get stiff. Also, when turning the key, a sequence of loud clicking noises could show a dead starter motor or dying battery that needs replacing.

Hold the key in the start position to see whether the voltage drops significantly. The starter motor’s power supply electrical circuit is defective if this happens. During the circuit check, the battery, fuses, wire, relay, and ignition switch must all be examined. Corrosion in the battery terminals can also cause stiff brakes.

Brake system affects starting ignition

Why Can’t I Push My Brake Down To Start My Car?

The brake pedal must be depressed to complete the starting circuit. Therefore, it has built-in safety features. Unless there is a problem with the brake fluid or other parts of the car, the brake pedal should not go to the floor when the engine is started.

Why Is Brake Pedal Locked?

Brakes locked on can be caused by worn brake pads. Also, blocking or leaking from the master cylinder or brake lines might lock your pedal. You can also cause a brake lock if you press brake pedal too hard as sticking calipers keep the brake pedal in the on position. (Read Why Does My Cars Temperature Go Up And Down)

Do You Have To Push The Brake Pedal To Start Engine?

First, depress the brake pedal to start the engine, then the Start/ Stop Button. With an auto transmission, you must push your brake pedal before starting the engine or pressing your Start/ Stop button.

Can Brakes Cause Your Car Not To Start?

Bad brakes can prevent the car from starting; however, the brake system affects starting in this situation. Most newer cars require the brake to be pressed during starting; hence the brakes might affect starting.

What Do You Do If Your Brake Pedal Is Hard To Push?

After half-turning the bleed valve, your accomplice should press the brake pedal slowly. Your spouse should double-pump the brakes to clear and bubble-free the brake fluid. Then close the valve.

Why Does My Car Start Without Pressing The Brake?

The brake pedal switch may be faulty, which notifies the problem when the pedal is depressed. The switch may have failed because the brake pedal was depressed continually. If the brake pedal is depressed, the computer will start the car.

What Should You Do If The Brake Pedal Becomes Hard To Press?

Perform a quick diagnosis before attempting a fast fix to get car started. Start the car engine and see if the brakes remain stiff or on. Check the brakes if the brake pedal is still stiff when you press it at that point.

First, start at the ignition switch, and look for the brake lights after pressing the brake pedal. If the brake lights come on, the ignition switch is working properly. However, if it does not turn on, investigate more. Ignition switches are inexpensive and easily changed. However, if your ignition switch becomes damaged, it’s recommended you replace it.

If the ignition light isn’t the problem, inspect the battery terminal for corrosion. If you have an automatic car, consider switching to park mode. Replace the master cylinder line if you have a vacuum leakage problem. After replacing the vacuum, let it sit for 10-15 minutes. A master cylinder can leak from the seals, so you lose the pressure needed to release your brakes.

Make sure you thoroughly inspect the battery. When the battery dies, you must replace it. Overnight, the vacuum might seep down, resulting in stiff pedals. However, it does not result in any internal car component damage.

If this occurs, slamming the pedal down firmly will assist the pedal in striking the interlock switch. All you have to do now is start the car. If your pedal feels solid, your parking brake could be a problem. These manually put on your brakes to stop the vehicle from moving; thus, your pedal is trying to activate brakes where the brake fluid is already compressed, and brakes are in the on position. (Read Guide to Cleaning Battery Terminals Without Disconnecting)

Is it possible for ABS to lock your brakes?

Your vehicle brakes may lock up because of a faulty or failed ABS control module. The ABS system keeps the wheels from locking up when you brake hard, so your brakes will lock up if the ABS control module fails. It’s a quick fix if you change the module.

Why can’t I start my automobile by pressing down on the brake pedal?

Attempt to push harder to fix this on your vehicle. For example, if you press harder on the brake pedal, you might open the switch. Only do this once, as pumping the pedal increases the pressure and makes pushing the pedal more difficult. (Read Can Low Transmission Fluid Cause Overdrive Light To Flash)

Car brake pedal is stiff, and the car is not starting, but the parking brake is fine

Power brakes are standard on your car, and the engine vacuum is used for power assist.

When the car is off, some stored vacuum is in the system, but pushing the brake pedal will be quickly exhausted.

If the vehicle engine is turned off after all vacuum removal, the brake pedal will be difficult to press because the power assists via the vacuum is no longer present.

Your brakes won’t be stuck once the engine is running, as the first thing that happens is the vacuum builds up the pressure again.

My Brake Pedal Is Stiff And Car Won't Start