Imagine you are driving on a highway, about to take an exit and you tap on the brake pedal – but could not slow down. Regardless of the pressure, you apply on it, the car just doesn’t stop. You feel like you have no brakes! What are you going to do? The importance of car brakes cannot be underestimated. It is something that allows you to slow or stop the vehicle.
In most of the cars these days, when you press the pedal, you push the piston which applies pressure on brake fluid in the master cylinder, pressurizes the brake fluid. The brake fluid then flows through thin pipes to the piston at each wheel. Those pressed pistons apply further pressure to brake pads, which squeezes against the disks in order to stop the vehicle. In case you have a loss of brake fluid or the brake lines have been cut, nothing will happen even if you press the brake pedal.
Below are Some of the Brake Problems and Ways to Fix Them
- Soft Brake Pedal: It is one of the most common braking issues. In case the pedal feels squishy and the car does not stop until you pump it to the floor, you are in a dangerous situation and should stop the vehicle without any delay. If you don’t, you may smash into something. The soft brake pedal is a result of a leak in a master cylinder. You need to give a look at the brake fluid.
The master cylinder may leak internally or externally. If the reservoir is full and you cannot find any leak, the problem may be internal. The only thing you can do here is replacing the old master cylinder with a new one. Don’t just waste your time in trying to rebuild it.
- Pulls towards a particular side when braking: This can be annoying and dangerous too. It can be a result of several things, but most common reason behind this is frozen caliper. Over the time, the caliper may freeze gradually.
It can be frozen if the piston on the caliper being stuck in the bore. If it happens, the pressure can’t be put back to the bore, the pressure on pads will be uneven and the car will pull towards one side. To fix this issue, caliper needs to be replaced.
It can also freeze when side pins have lost its lubrication due to less maintenance. In such cases, it requires proper cleaning and lubrication.
Moreover, bad front tires or broken belts can also result in same. To overcome such trouble, you can either replace them (depending on the condition) or try rotating front tires of the rear of the vehicle.
- The steering shakes when you press the brake: It is common in all makes and models. When you drive the car at higher speed and apply the brakes, the steering wheel shakes. This can happen as a result of the warped front rotor. To fix it, you can get them resurfaced, but one thing needs to be considered, whether the rotors are thick enough to be resurfaced or not. There is a minimum requirement for rotor thickness, which is stamped near the hub.
- The pedal pulses up and down while applying brake: It is a result of bad rotors. Over the time, they go through heating and cooling process thousands of times, it is inevitable to lose its shape and size. If you are regular highway driver and are hard on brakes, you may probably see this problem many times in the lifespan of your automobile. You can simply fix the problem by resurfacing them if they are thick enough or get them replaced if they cannot be resurfaced.
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