In the last six months or so I’ve noticed the pedal’s gotten a bit hard at the bottom of pedal travel and I’ve lost some stopping power. It’s not enough to warrant parking the car, just an odd little quirk that I’ll need to take care of and I’m wanting to know where to start.

Things that might be helpful to know:

1. The pads and rotors are about 10,000 miles old but have been on the car for about three years and are from a no-name eBay kit (bought them as a placeholder for a StopTech kit but they’ve been so good I haven’t really seen the need to replace them)

2. Rotors, pads, lines, and calipers all looks good from an eye inspection (don’t have tools here at college to do any real disassembly). The RR pad’s a bit more worn than the rest but the car isn’t pulling to one side under braking nor is there any glazing on the rotor.

3. I’ve had problems with the integrated handbrake sticking before (might be causing the worn pad in the back?) but like I said haven’t noticed dragging or pulling under braking or acceleration

4. Very rarely (like once every few months) the brake pedal will become extremely hard and lose more than half of its power immediately after starting the car up and braking for the first time. After that the system feels completely fine (except the aforementioned stiffness at the bottom) and like I said it doesn’t happen often

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I’m leaning towards the brake booster or vacuum lines but wanted to get more knowledgeable people’s opinions as well. Unlike a lot of you guys I have very little experience in diagnosing issues as well as fixing them so any input would be much appreciated!