Why Your ATV Brakes Won’t Build Pressure – How To Fix?

No one actually loses control of their brakes when riding their ATV. But chances are, sometimes, ATV brakes won’t build pressure, which ultimately makes the braking system meaningless. But what can go wrong in such a case? 

The main reason ATV brakes can’t build pressure could be the air in the brake system. Issues with the master cylinder, low or contaminated brake fluid, damaged brake pads, a bad brake caliper, and a few more can cause the problem.

However, you can resolve the issues quickly by going through the proper troubleshooting steps. 

Troubleshooting and Fix For ATV brakes Won’t Build Pressure Issue

The troubleshooting process takes a little bit of time, but is simple. You just need to discover the root causes of low or no brake pressure. Once you know the reasons, fixing them is the best thing you can do. 

1. Check and Remove Air From the Braking System

You should never allow air to enter the braking system of your ATV. The brakes can’t produce enough pressure to stop the ATV if this happens. 

Air can enter through the braking system when you install or replace any braking component. For example, keep the brake fluid reservoir open for a long time. 

The best solution here is to check whether there are any air bubbles. Unfortunately, if there is air in the braking system, you have to bleed the brakes of your ATV to remove air. 

Now you can check out this video on bleeding your ATV brakes.

2. Check and Replace the Bad Master Cylinder

The master cylinder is one of the critical components of your ATV’s braking system. The core duty of a master cylinder is to push the brake fluid to the brake caliper to enable smooth braking. 

And so, when the master cylinder malfunctions, the brakes can’t generate enough pressure. 

So, you need to test the master cylinder carefully. Sometimes, there might be cracks, leaks, or extreme corrosion. 

And if there is excessive corrosion and damage to the master cylinder, you have to replace it, which will cost you around $20-$60.

3. Make Sure There Is Enough Brake Fluid

You can’t expect your ATV’s braking system to work smoothly when there is insufficient brake fluid in the reservoir.

So, you need to check the brake fluid level. If you notice the lower fluid level, you should not delay filling the fluid reservoir with appropriate brake fluid. 

4. Replace Contaminated Brake Fluid

Similar to low or no brake fluid, the contaminated brake fluid in your ATV causes braking issues like not building enough pressure. 

When you don’t change the brake fluid on your ATV for a long time, it becomes contaminated.

Well, it is recommended to change the brake fluid on your ATV every two years. And you must be careful in this case, especially when the brakes can’t build enough pressure. 

5. Check and Replace the Damaged or Worn-Out Brake Pads

Sometimes, the brake pads become damaged or broken. Due to this, they can’t contact the rotors as expected. Thus, the brakes are not building enough pressure. 

So, the solution is to check the brake pads; if they are defective, you should not feel shy about replacing them. Replacing a single brake pad can cost you $30-$50.

6. Check and Replace the Bad Brake Calliper

The prerequisite for smooth ATV braking is a well-performing brake caliper. Now, if the brake caliper malfunctions, it can’t allow the brake pads to come in contact with the rotor for effective braking. 

So, check the brake caliper and replace it if there are any issues. 

There are also chances that the brake caliper is damaged, broken, or worn out. In order to purchase a new brake caliper for your ATV, you have to spend around $20-$70. 

7. Check and Fix the Defective Brake Lines

When the brake lines become damaged or broken, leaks will occur. As a result, the brake fluid can come out quickly, which can also be a prominent cause of brake pressure loss. 

So, you should inspect the brake lines properly. And if there is any damage or cracks, you must either repair it or replace the brake lines.

Some Tips for Preventing ATV Brake Problems

The braking system, including all the components, should work up to par if you remain careful about their maintenance. But what should you consider when it comes to ensuring smooth braking?

  • Don’t forget to check the braking of the components at regular intervals.
  • Change the brake fluid every two years. 
  • Clean the brake fluid reservoir when changing the fluid. 
  • Clean the brake pads regularly. 
  • Remove air bubbles from the braking system. 
  • Contact technical support in the case of any significant issues that you think you can’t fix. 


Here, we will answer some questions about ATV braking systems. You may have these questions in mind as well. So, let’s know the answers!

How to Check if the Brake Pads Are Worn Out?

Take enough time to visually inspect the brake pads on your ATV. In most cases, the brake pads will show signs of damage, wear, and tear. In addition, harsh noise from the brake pads indicates they are worn out. 

How Often Should You Change the Brake Pads on Your ATV?

The brake pads on your ATV are supposed to last around 1,000-1,500 miles. So, you must be careful when replacing your ATV brake pads after this period. But, if the brake pads become defective earlier than the mileage range, you should replace them immediately. 

How Do You Know If You Have Air in Your Brake Line?

The most common symptom of air in your brake line is ineffective braking. Moreover, you will experience the issue of loose brake pedals when there is too much air in the brake lines of your ATV.

Final Words

It is always better to have the assistance of a professional mechanic when you can’t fix the issue of brake pads that won’t build pressure. 

Moreover, you should not take random steps and make the issue even more acute. 

When purchasing the brake fluid for your ATV, ensure you use high-quality fluid that can enhance the braking performance.

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