DIAGNOSING COMMON BRAKE PROBLEMS
Your carís braking system is arguably the most important system in your
vehicle. Itís imperative to understand the cause of the most common brake problems and learn how to
If you suspect problems with your brakes, whether itís a soft pedal or a sharp grinding
sound, itís best to address the situation immediately.
repairs are best left to experts, so if you donít have experience diagnosing and repairing these
systems, bring your car or light truck to one of our three Begley Auto Repair Shops along Manatee
Avenue in Bradenton Florida to have your brakes properly inspected and repaired.
1. Spongelike or Soft Pedal - A spongy feeling or soft
brake pedal is a sure sign of a problem. If you have to pump the brakes for them to work effectively,
or you notice the brake pedal traveling further towards the floor than usual, this is indicative of a
loss of pressure in the braking system.
Most brakes systems are hydraulic, with a master cylinder that regulates the
pressurized hydraulic fluid that runs through lines to the brakes at each wheel. When you hit your
pedal, it activates the fluid in the master cylinder, which in turn controls the mechanical functions
of the actual brakes to slow and stop your vehicle.
When the brake pedal is soft or spongy, there could be a leak in one of the brake
lines. Leaks can occur where the lines meet at the wheels, where the lines discharge from the master
cylinder, or anywhere in between, and arenít always easy to spot. If the loss of pressure is caused by
an internal failure in the master cylinder, however, you may not see fluid leaking externally.
Improperly bled brakes may also cause a soft pedal, with air bubbles in the brake lines
hindering your hydraulic pressure. This problem may be solved through the simple procedure of properly
bleeding the brakes. A more involved repair could include replacement of brake lines, either one or
all. The most expensive and complicated repairs to solve this problem typically would include
replacement of the master cylinder.
2. Irregular Noises - If you hear a
metallic sound or screeching when you use your brakes, it could be the brake pads are worn down and
need to be replaced. It can also be an indication that damaged or low quality brake pads have harmed
your rotors. Warped rotors or a damaged caliper can also cause you to feel a shudder in the steering
wheel when applying the brakes. While replacing brake pads is a relatively low cost and quick job,
machining warped rotors or installing new rotors is labor intensive and a more costly repair.
3. Brake Indicator Light -
Lastly, if you see
the brake warning light on your dashboard, do not ignore it. Immediately stop your vehicle and do not
use it again until the braking systems can be properly inspected.
For more information on common brake problems and brake systems, stop into one of our
three Begley Auto Repair Shops along Manatee Avenue in Bradenton Florida and lets discuss any
questions or concerns that you have about your vehicles braking system.
These Auto Repair Service Pages: