Make Safety A Priority
Your life is at risk if your car brakes are worn-out. Even a minor problem with car brakes can be dangerous. Whenever you find problem in braking, the first thing you should do is take your car to an experienced mechanic.
There are many things that can cause brake problems and brake failure, however you can determine some of the potential causes on your own. At times, diagnosing or troubleshooting car brake problems can be quite simple, though brake repairing may be not. To keep you on the safe side, here are some simple guidelines to help you identify possible problems with brakes.
Check The Brake Fluid – Whenever your brake lights are on, you should check the brake fluid. The fluid level in the container should not be lower than ‘Min’ mark, and it should actually be close to ‘Max’ mark. Low levels of fluid indicate that brake pads are worn out. Another possible cause could be leakage of fluid. In any case, the car should not be driven if the brake fluid level is low.
ABS Brake Light Comes On – It indicates a problem with the anti-lock braking system. With this, the on-board computer disables the ABS system. However, the brakes still function without ABS. This can be very problematic if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Brake Warning Light Comes On – It usually happens under three conditions. First, when the emergency brake is on. Second, when the brake fluid levels are low. Third, when leakage occurs in one side of the brake system. For number one, you can simply check if the emergency brake is on. In the second and third cases, your vehicle is in need of a fluids service.
Locked Brakes – Whenever you touch the brakes, the car bends sharply to one side. This can even cause the steering wheel to lock up and create a skid. Locked brakes can be caused by a bad disc caliper, wheel bearing problems, loose or broken brake pads, or contamination of the brake pads. It is a serious problem which should be attended to immediately.
Hard Brakes – This can be caused by an assortment of problems varying from a poor power brake booster, or failed caliper components, to a failed vacuum line. To deal with the problem, examine the floor under the brake pedal. Otherwise, take the help of a mechanic.
Braking Pulls Car To Left Or Right – This can be caused by sticking or failed brake calipers, a weak/collapsed hose, or due to problems with the brake pad. If you find the problem is severe, you need to get your vehicle repaired. If the pull shifts from left to right when braking, it is probably not a brake problem but is more likely to be a suspension problem.
After driving, you experience a burning rubber/chemical smell – Often the cause is burning brakes; however, it can be an indicator of a clutch problem. If your car pulls to one side or the other while driving, simply stop the car and check that the emergency brake is off. It’s time to get your vehicle repaired.
Grinding Noise From Wheels – This can occur because of unwanted particles trapped inside your brakes. It can also suggest that you need to have your brake rotors and pads replaced. Take your vehicle in for a brake service.
Brake Pedal Pulsates or Vehicle Vibrates When Braking – This is possibly due to distorted brake rotors or drums. It could also happen because of overheated brakes or over-tightened lug nuts. If you find this problem in both the brake pedal and the steering wheel, then it could be from the front wheels. Get a brake inspection of your car done.
Brake Pedal Gets Spongy or Soft – It could indicate a minor or a major problem. First of all, check the brake fluid level and fill the container to the marked level. It can also be caused by a leakage in your brake line or a failing master cylinder. In any case, this is a serious problem and should be treated as soon as possible.
Brakes Barely Stop The Car – Similar to the problem of the brake pedal getting spongy. Probably the brake pads/shoes are worn out. Once more, it’s better to take the car for repairing.
Brakes Squeal – At times, dust and dirt get trapped in the wheels. For this, take your car through an automated car wash and check if this solves the problem.
Besides the problems mentioned above, other vehicle brake problems could be automated brake adjusters that require alignment, cheap brake linings, broken brake return or retaining springs, a bent backing plate, and warped brake shoes.
Whatever the problem may be, it’s always better to take your vehicle to an authentic service center and get it repaired as soon as possible. If you have questions about your vehicle, get in touch with us.