• Understanding the Brake System with a Brake Repair Diagram

    If this is the first time that you have attempted a brake repair, then having a brake diagram will help you trace out some common brake problems. Most brake diagrams contain the following information:

    • Drawing showing where brake line connections are made and where the lines go to.
    • Line drawing showing the connection of the brake cable from pedal or lever to splitter, and then to wheels. Adjustment points are also shown in most drawings.
    • Line drawing showing vacuum hose from intake manifold to brake booster.

    The only tools required for the following types of repairs are a small wrench, a pair of pliers and an adjustable wrench.

    Hard Pedal

    Having a hard pedal is usually caused by a loss of vacuum to the booster. With the brake repair diagram, you will be able to locate the booster and find where the vacuum line supplying it is located. Once you have done this, you can check the line for cuts or obstructions.

    Soft Pedal

    A soft pedal is indicative of air in the brake lines. This is because air is compressible, when fluids aren’t. When air enters the brake system, you want to get it out as quickly as you can since brake fluid exhibits chemical properties that are hygroscopic. This means that it absorbs water. Air contains water, and water causes rust. If you allow air to stay in the lines, not only will braking efficiency be detrimentally affected, but you will hasten brake component breakdown, which will cost you more money in the long run. With the diagram you will more easily be able to trace the lines down to each corner and determine which wheel is the farthest from the master cylinder, and thus the one to start the bleeding process at. You will also be able to see which one is closest, which should be the last one to be bled.

    Parking Brake not Holding

    When your parking brake isn’t holding, it’s putting too much stress on certain parts in the transmission when the vehicle is parked, especially when it’s parked on a hill. This can cause premature failure of the transmission and in certain drastic instances, catastrophic failure of the transmission. This can cause the car to roll when the transmission is in park and the vehicle is parked on a hill, even a slight one. Your brake repair diagram will usually show you where you can adjust the tension on the emergency or parking brake so that it will hold better. It is important to remember to make adjustments incrementally and check it between adjustments. Drive the car and make sure that it will still coast a little way when you get going and lift off the accelerator. Also check to make sure that it doesn’t feel as if the brakes are dragging.

    With a good brake repair diagram you can save yourself quite a bit of money on some very common brake repairs, which don’t take very long to accomplish or require any special training.