Brake Maintenance

Common Brake Problems and How to Fix Them


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Brake problems, although they can be minor, can cause major accidents and damage to your vehicle. Many people have had problems with their brakes but do not know how to fix them. There are common brake problems that you will encounter and most of them can easily be fixed.

  • Low Brake Fluid: The simplest and most common problem people encounter with their brakes is having low brake fluid. The lack of brake fluid is usually caused by a leak in the system. To fix this problem, have your vehicle inspected for any leaks. Once the leak has been identified replace the part and then re-fill the brake system with brake fluid. It is also important to remember that the vehicle should not be used while there is a leak in the brake system.
  • Brake Pedal Is Low: Another common problem you may experience with your brakes is having low brake pedals. This can generally be caused by fluid leaks, worn brake linings or the adjusters on the drum brakes fail to compensate and stick to normal lining wear. Brake troubleshooting for this type of problem is a breeze. All you need to do is adjust the show adjusters to restore full pedal. However, this is just a temporary fix. You still need to replace or clean the shoe adjusters.
  • Pedal Sinks to the Floor: This is another common problem that can cause an accident if not fixed immediately. It is often due to a worn out master cylinder and it can also be caused by a leak in the hydraulics. When there is a brake wear problem, the brakes will often not hold any pressure causing the brake pedal to not resist when you step on it. If this happens, it is important that you fix this problem immediately and not attempt to drive your vehicle. Fixing this problem often involves fixing the leak in the hydraulic system or replacing the worn master cylinder.
  • Squeal Noises on Brakes: A brake noise can also indicate certain damages or problems with your brakes. If you hear a squeal when you step on the brake, this can indicate that there are vibrations between the caliper and disc pads. To fix this problem, the rotor should be resurfaced. After resurfacing, a non-directional finish is often applied. Putting new pad shims and disc pads can also fix this problem. Sometimes, just applying noise compound to the back of the disc pads or brake grease can also fix the problem.
  • Pulsation on the Brake Pedal: If you encounter pulsation on the brake pedal, this indicates that the brake rotor is warped. Generally, this requires the rotor to be replaced or resurfaced.
  • Brakes Pulling to One Side: Another common brake problem is when the brakes pull to one side when stepped on. There can be several reasons why this will happen. It can be caused by misadjusted brakes, contaminated linings, a bad cylinder wheel or caliper, wheel bearings that are loose or the brakes dragging to only one side. A simple adjustment to the brakes or replacing the linings can fix this problem.
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