Tips when Looking for a Brake Pedal Return Spring
With the help of a small spring underneath, the brake pedal keeps moving back into its original position right after you step on it. Because of this spring’s purpose and location, it’s constantly exposed to pressure, heavy load, and friction. Over time, this spring will lose its tension, causing the pedal to malfunction. And once the pedal goes bad, your braking power is greatly reduced. So before a busted brake pedal return spring turns your vehicle into a road hazard, replace it with a high-quality component. But with so many options these days, finding a high-quality replacement can get tricky. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re making the right purchase when shopping for a new return spring:
The spring should match the brake pedal shaft’s size.
Depending on your car make and model, the diameter of the brake pedal shaft can be half an inch or more. So when looking for a replacement return spring, make sure you have your car’s brake system specs with you. It’ll be such a hassle if you find out during the actual installation process that the spring you just bought isn’t a perfect fit for your ride.
High-grade steel is always the best option.
When faced with several options, always look for a spring that’s made from high-grade steel that’s chrome plated or powder coated. These add-ons are meant to prolong the lifespan of the spring by making it highly resistant to corrosion. After all, this spring will be regularly exposed to grease, dirt, moisture, and other rust-causing elements.
Bring with you the old spring when shopping.
A fool-proof way to make sure you’re getting the right part is to bring the old return spring with you when shopping. Keep in mind that a direct-fit component should look exactly just like the old part. With the old spring in hand, you can do an on-the-spot comparison. When shopping online, keeping the old spring handy will also make it easier for you to compare photos of the new part with the old component.
Check your car manual.
Another tip to ensure an exact product fit is to check your car manual. Because the right return spring depends on your car’s specs, a vehicle manual will help you figure out if the new spring is a perfect match to the brake system.
Car Maintenance 101: Replacing a Brake Pedal Return Spring
Is your car showing signs of a busted brake pedal return spring? Then better take a look at it and see if it has to be replaced. Keep in mind that once this component fails, your braking power suffers. When this happens, stepping on the brakes becomes a difficult task. Just imagine if you have to suddenly hit the brakes during an evasive maneuver. Not only are you putting yourself at risk, but you’re also putting other drivers and pedestrians in danger. So before a faulty return spring leads to a car accident, replace it as soon as possible. Here’s how:
Difficulty level: Easy
Step 1: Remove the old brake pedal return spring. Open the door on the driver’s side and kneel down on the ground. You should be able to locate the spring, which is just beneath the brake pedal. Press the brake pedal down to compress the spring. Then using a pair of needle nose pliers, unhook the spring’s other end. Let go of the brake pedal and unhook the other end with the pliers. You should now be able to pull out the old spring from the assembly.
Step 2: Attach the new spring. Put pressure back on the brake pedal as you hook one end of the new spring over the compartment hole. Then using the pliers, pull the other end of the spring until you can hook it into the hole on the pedal. Release the pedal and check if the spring pops back into the right position. Depress again the pedal and see if the newly installed spring works properly.
Step 3: Take your car for a test drive. As a final test, take your car for a drive and pay close attention to the brake pedal. The pedal shouldn’t feel too low when you step on it, and it should go up and down just like before the old spring went bust.
Things to remember:
- Before pulling out the old spring, make a note of its exact position for reference later on.
- There’s no need to hire a mechanic for this job because installation is very straightforward and will only take a few minutes.