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Brakes touchy at first then spongy

Recently I test drove this vehicle. It’s a 2012 Hyundai Veracruz with about 89000 miles on it. When I first stared the brakes were extremely touchy, but as I used them more and more on the test drive they became spongy feeling and the stopping distance increased. I’m feeling like this is an issue, any thoughts? It seems similar to the car that I just sold. Super touchy brakes at first then spongy and not stopping well. I took it to a mechanic who told me the system was fine but the fluid was a little low. They topped the fluid and I still had the same problem. Month later the pedal went to the floor when a line broke. Wondering if that could be similar with the Veracruz? I didn’t see any brake work in its service history but some spots just say a vague “vehicle serviced.” Anyway, I don’t want to buy this vehicle if it’s got brake problems that would be expensive to fix. Trying to figure out as a non-mechanic what causes an issue like that.

You just answered your own question . I can assure you that this is not the only used vehicle for sale. Have you really been test driving a vehicle for a month ?
Any time you test a vehicle and it has something that causes concern just move on a find something else.

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I agree, it is an issue. My guess is there’s a problem with one or more of the rubber brake hoses. Most of the brake lines are metal, but a few sections are rubber b/c they need to flex, for example between the chassis and the wheel.

Yes.

Don’t buy the vehicle.

Tester

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Sorry, where do you get a month? I only test drove it once, I haven’t had it for a month. I’m not really asking for advice on whether to buy it, just wondering what may cause brakes issues like this in order to increase my awareness and ability to choose which vehicles I want to pass on and which I want to pay a mechanic to inspect. Thanks.

If the problem were only the rubber brake hose it wouldn’t be overly expensive to repair. There are other causes of this symptom though which are probably pretty pricy to repair, that’s the conundrum of any used car purchaser. If my own mechanic said the only problem w/the car was the brakes, and he couldn’t spot any obvious problem besides possibly the rubber brake hose, I’d consider to purchase a car in this condition if the price were discounted enough to make it worth the risk, maybe $750-$1000 below the cost of a car w/out the brake problem.

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That is where I got the month . It reads like you still had the vehicle . Pass on this one anyway.

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No, on that I was talking about my old car which I’d owned for many years and it developed that brake problem. So I was talking about 2 different vehicles with the same problem. Sorry for the confusion

There is a problem with the brakes. When buying a used car, instead of trying to educate yourself on what to look for, it is better to take the vehicle to a mechanic for a prepurchase inspection. If the seller did not disclose the problems then I would move on.

From my experience a failing master cylinder will produce those symptoms…and or a failing rubber brake line. The rubber lines blow up like balloons instead of transferring the hydraulic pressure to the brakes, but when a line is failing this way the pedal is usually soft all the time. The master cylinder however is more in line with the symptom you described in my opinion…

Seeing that a month later you know the pedal went to the floor, implies you have had the car for a month.

Unless you are a do-it-yourselfer ANY problems like this will be expensive to fix. Why would you need to know any more about this issue?

If you want to be aware, this could be caused by a list of problems with the ; master cylinder, booster, rubber lines, ABS unit, calipers sticking, air in the system, drum brakes assembled incorrectly… pretty much the entire braking system. We have people that post here that are pulling their hair out paying to fix a problem that their mechanics cannot find!

Advising you to walk away from a car with this problem is GOOD advice given by experienced people. You be well served to heed it.