Brake Repair - Common Problems and Solutions
The average car owner knows little about brake repair and the interior workings of their braking system. When you start to notice a problem with your brakes, you should take the car to the mechanic to have it fixed.
While most mechanics are trustworthy and honest, you may wonder if you are paying for unnecessary fixes. Learning a little about common problems and solutions to this crucial part of your car can help you feel confident.
Low fluid in the braking system can point to several problems. Sometimes it occurs because the pads are worn. Other times a leak is the culprit. Often, but not always, the warning light will light up when there is a leak. Unless you can easily spot the problem, as with worn out pads, you should bring a car with low braking fluid to your mechanic for brake repair. Leaks lead to failure of the system, so you should not risk waiting if you fear you have a leak.
When you push the pedal to stop your car, it should push smoothly without vibration or pulsation. If you notice pulsation or excessive vibration, you may have a warped rotor. You or your mechanic will need to replace this, or sometimes these can be resurfaced. Be sure you check with your mechanic, even if you intend to try the project yourself, to make sure you are doing it correctly.
If you hear scraping noises from your breaks, head immediately to your mechanic for brake repair. This usually means metal is touching metal somewhere that it should not, usually because you allowed the pads to wear out completely. If you wait to get the car serviced, your brakes may fail.
Pedal Pushes Too Far
If your pedal must be pushed far in order to stop the car, you may have worn linings. Air in the lines can also cause this problem. If it reaches the point that you push the pedal to the floor and the car is still not stopping, it becomes a dangerous situation. When you notice the problem, try pumping the pedal when you want to stop the car, rather than just pushing it down. This may provide a temporary fix until you can get it looked at our schedule a brake repair.
Squeaking brakes do not necessarily indicate an emergency situation. Replacing the pads may fix the problem, as can replacing or resurfacing the rotors. You can also spray the brakes with a noise control product or use high temperature grease on the back of the pads. While this problem is annoying and unnerving, you can usually safely wait to see your mechanic.
Jerking When Braking
Jerking when braking, which some describe as grabby brakes, usually occurs when the pads have some sort of oil or grease on them. If you see this type of contamination on your pads, replacing them will stop the problem. However, you also need to find the source of the contamination and fix that as well. If you cannot spot the source, it may be worthwhile to seek a brake repair specialist to ensure the problem does not come back to haunt you later.
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