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Showing posts with label Brakes Diagnostic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brakes Diagnostic. Show all posts
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Why Brakes Make a Grinding Noise


During braking, the brakes make a grinding sound.

The reason why brakes make a grinding sound

(1) Excessively worn brake linings.


The brake linings are worn down to the metal and they are rubbing against the disc or drum (i.e. depending on if grinding is coming from front or rear) when you apply the brakes; this results in the grinding sound you are hearing. In other words, they are worn to the bone, there is nothing left, and they have been neglected too long.

What to do?
The car's brakes have been neglected and as a result, it could be expensive to fix. First, you'll need a new brake lining. Second, you'll need to at least have the brake discs or drums (i.e. depending on if grinding is coming from front or rear) machined in order to smooth out the damage done by the grinding. If the damage is extreme, the mechanic may suggest new discs or drums (i.e. again, depending on if grinding is coming from the front or rear).

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Brake Warning Light Came On Steady While Driving

Brake warning light came on steady

A brake light that came on steadily is a cause by the following reason the parking brake is slightly engaged, the system lacks brake fluid or there is a pressure imbalance on the brake hydraulic system.

Possible cause of brake warning light that comes on

1. The parking brake is slightly engaged which trip the brake warning lights

The parking brake is engaged when the car is at the park for safety purposes and may also serve as an emergency brake when the regular brake fails.

Now, when you park your car and engaged the parking brake, you will see an indicator lights on the instrument panel signaling that the parking brake is engaged with that said when you encounter a brake warning light that came on steadily you need to check if the parking brake is slightly engaged.

The next time you drive, make sure that the parking brake is fully released and not slightly engaged before you start to drive.

2. The system lacks brake fluid

Lack of brake fluid or low brake fluid is also the common reason why the brake dashboard warning lights came on steadily while driving. When you are driving find a safe place to stop then open the hood of your car, locate the brake fluid reservoir usually it is located on the top of the master cylinder. Once you located the reservoir, check the brake fluid level if it is within the minimum required level. There is an indication on the reservoir on the maximum and minimum level for fluid.

Brake fluid location

Rock the car slightly to while looking at the reservoir to determine where the level of brake fluid is. If the level is below the minimum required level then it is the reason why the brake warning light came on steadily.

Brake Warning Light Flashing
Buy yourself a can of high-quality brake fluid ("DOT 3" or "DOT 4", as it's called) and carefully add just enough to top off the brake fluid reservoir.
Read more: Brake Warning Light Flashing

Just add enough brake fluid on the reservoir the level must be above the minimum level but not exceeding the maximum level. Never leave the reservoir open for a longer time than necessary because if you leave the brake fluid open than usual it can cause moisture contamination on the fluid.

3. There is a pressure imbalance on the brake hydraulic system

Pressure imbalance on the brake hydraulic system can also cause the brake warning light to come on steadily. This is usually caused by a collapsed brake hose, damaged brake lines or an internal leak in the master cylinder.

If there is a problem of imbalance pressure on the hydraulic system it is not safe to drive the car. Tow the car to the nearest car shop at once. If you continue to drive the car with imbalance pressure on the brake it may cause a serious problem on the car involving the brake hydraulic system. Ask the mechanic to check your car for an imbalance pressure on the brake hydraulic system.



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Spongy Brake Pedal When Braking

Brake pedal feels spongy

The brake pedal feels spongy instead of solid when the driver steps on the brake pedal to stop the car.

Possible cause of spongy brake pedal when braking

1. Presence of air inside the brake line of brake pedal that feels spongy.


The problem of spongy feeling on the brake pedal when the driver steps on the pedal when stopping the car, is usually an indication of air presence somewhere along the brake line.

Normally, if there is no problem on the brake system the brake pedal feels solid when the driver steps on the brake this is because the brake fluid inside the brake line cannot be compressed.

Brake system operates when the fluid is forced to flow through the brake line by depressing the brake pedal to make the car stop. Now if the air is present inside the system the air can be compressed therefore instead of feeling the brake pedal to be solid, the driver may feel that the pedal is spongy when the driver steps on the brake pedal during braking.

How to fix soft spongy brake pedal when the brake is applied

If you encounter this kind of problem do not attempt to fix it by yourself if you have no knowledge for repairing brake system because problem like this must be fixed by professional specialized on this kind of job, with that said your only option is to bring the car to a car shop and ask the mechanic to check the brake line for any leak somewhere in the system and repair if necessary.

However the real problem here is not the spongy feeling when you step on the brake pedal but rather why an air is present inside the system, it is possible that your car brake system has been repaired before, and it might be that the mechanic which previously done a work on the system forgot to bleed the brake system.

Just remember that whenever there is a repair done on the break especially if the fluid has been replaced it is necessary to bleed the system to avoid the air from getting inside the brake line. If the air is not removed from the system, it can affect the performance of the brake when applied, like what is described in the above problem, with that said to ask the mechanic to bleed the system usually this can fix the problem.






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Why Does the Pedal Vibrate When I Hit the Brakes?

Pedal Vibrate When I Hit the Brakes

When the brake is hit there is a vibration on the brake pedal. Usually, this is a cause of misalignment between the pads and the disc or misalignment of the shoe and the drum in case of drum brakes.

Possible cause of vibration on the brake pedal while braking
(1) Misalignment between front pads and discs.
(2) Misalignment between rear shoes and drums.

During braking, if the vibration occurs on the brake pedal and on the front end of your car the usual cause of this problem is misalignment between front pads and disc.

Front pads and disc mate with each other, if these two components are not in even contact with each other it will result in a vibration that can easily be felt on the brake pedal especially during braking. Several reasons can cause misalignment and the most usual cause is a warped front disc. Another reason that causes misalignment is a loose or worn front wheel bearing.

Misalignment between front pads and discs

However, if there is no vibration coming from the front end of the car, therefore, the problem is misaligned rear shoes and drums. Misalignment of rear shoes and drums are caused by warped rear drums. If the rear a drum is not warped the other possible cause of misalignment is a worn or loose rear wheel bearing.

Misalignment between rear shoes and drums

What to do?
In any case, you need to bring the car to the car shop and tell the mechanic to inspect the wheel bearing of the affected wheel for any looseness of worn. If the wheel bearing is fine the next thing to do is to machine the affected disc or drums. After the machining, you also need to replace the brakes pad or brake shoe of the affected brakes.

Car Shakes When Braking
Usually, if the entire car shakes during braking the problem is always the rear brake. The entire car shakes happen because the brake shoe is not making even contact with the brake drum during brake application.
Learn more: Car Shakes When Braking





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Brake Light on Dashboard ON

Brake Light on Dashboard ON

If brake light on the dashboard is on this usually indicates that the brake fluid level is low or, that there's a pressure imbalance in the brake system. However, if the parking brake is inadvertently applied, it'll cause the brake warning light to go on as well.

Possible Reason for Brake Light on Dashboard is ON

(1) Brake fluid level is low.
(2) Pressure imbalance on the brake system.
(3) The parking brake is inadvertently applied.


If the parking brake was applied slightly or fully, then the parking brake is tripping brake warning light. The parking brake and brake warning light are sort of "tied" together to remind you when the parking brake is on. So, when the parking brake is even the slightest bit applied, the brake warning light comes on.



What to do?
If brake light on the dashboard suddenly ON, make sure the parking brake is released while driving.

If the parking brake is not engaged, Open the hood of the vehicle and locate the brake fluid reservoir; it is usually sitting on top of the master cylinder. While looking at it, rock the vehicle slightly in order to see where the fluid level is at. Do not remove the reservoir cap for this.

If the brake fluid is low, the lack of brake fluid is causing the brake warning light to go on.

Brake Warning Light Flashing

Buy yourself a can of high-quality brake fluid ("DOT 3" or "DOT 4", as it's called) and carefully add just enough to top off the brake fluid reservoir.

Read more: Brake Warning Light Flashing

One thing that will always turn the brake warning light on is a lack of brake fluid. As you indicated, the brake fluid level is low. Therefore, the brake warning light came on.

What to do?
Buy yourself a can of high-quality brake fluid ("DOT 3" or "DOT 4", as it's called) and carefully add enough to just fill up the brake fluid reservoir. Do not leave the brake fluid reservoir open any longer than necessary. Doing so will cause the brake fluid to become contaminated by moisture in the air and this will then lead to a whole slew of new problems. Also, for the same reason, throw the can of brake fluid away when done. More importantly, why the brake fluid level is low? Could there be a leak somewhere in the brake system??? Please take this vehicle to a reputable shop the first chance you get and ask the mechanic to inspect the brake system.



If the brake fluid is not low, then the problem is a pressure imbalance on the hydraulic system.

The brake warning light will come on if there is any type of pressure imbalance in the brake hydraulic system. There are many things that can cause an imbalance including a collapsed brake hose, damaged brake line, or an internal leak in the master cylinder.

Warning Lights on the Dashboard
What is that warning lights on the dashboard mean? If these dashboard warning lights are lit it means something is wrong with the car to warn the driver.

Read more: Warning Lights on the Dashboard

What to do?
In this situation, you should have this vehicle towed to a reputable garage. Why tow it? Because something is seriously wrong with its brakes and therefore it's not safe to drive. If you're lucky, the problem may be simple and inexpensive. Regardless, whenever the brake warning light comes on, it's always serious since your safety is at risk.





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Squealing Noise on Brakes

The brakes produce squealing noise during braking this is because of two possible reasons, first is the noise comes from the brake pad wear indicator and the second is because of the high-frequency vibration.

Possible cause of squealing noise on brakes
1) Squealing noise comes from brake pad wear sensor

Brake Pad Wear Sensor

Besides squealing noise that you heard observe also if the brake pedal is fairly low when the pedal is depressed. If this is the case then the squealing noise is produced by the brake pad wear sensor. When the brake pedal is fairly low it also means that the brake pad is also low.

Brake pads consist of a thin piece metal that is connected to the pad called the wear sensor. If the pad is getting low the wear sensor will start to make contact with the brake disc and this will produce squealing noise that you probably have heard to warn you that the pads are extremely low and needed to be replaced with a new one.

2) High-frequency vibration of brake pads causes the squealing noise

Brake Pads

If the brake pedal is not low then the problem is not the brake wear sensor but rather a high-frequency vibration of the brake pads is causing the squealing noise. Several factors can cause the pads to vibrate but are hard to identify. The best thing to do to find out what causes the high-frequency vibrations is to remove the tire where the squealing is heard, look for any loose components such as brakes pads or loose caliper.

Observe the brakes disc if there is a deep develop on the disc because it can also cause vibrations which is enough to produce a squealing noise. Also, try checking for the loose anti-squeal shims and anti-rattle springs. However, another cause of squealing that may be overlooked is the installation of non-factory pads and glazed pads.

How to correct squealing noise on the brakes
If the problem is the brake pad sensor it means your car is needed to have new brake pads. When you put on a new set of brake pads it's also necessary to have the brake rotor disc machined so that the new brake pad will have even contact with the rotor disc to maintain proper alignment between the two, the brake pad and the rotor disc.



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Now, if the cause of the squealing noise is the high-frequency vibrations of the brakes pads, you need to bring the car to the car repair shop and have a mechanic to inspect the affected brakes.

Car Shakes When Braking
Usually, if the entire car shakes during braking the problem is always the rear brake. The entire car shakes happen because the brake shoe is not making even contact with the brake drum during brake application.
Learn more: Car Shakes When Braking

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Car Shakes When Braking

When the entire car shakes when braking the only possible reason is the rear drum and the rear brake shoe is maligned, when those two components are not aligned with each other the shaking affects the entire car.

Rear Shoes and Drums is Misaligned
Usually, when the entire car vibrates when the brake is applied, this means that there is something wrong with the rear brake.

Car Shakes When Braking
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What is happening here is that the rear shoes and the drums are not aligned with each other are not even contact during brake application. If those two parts are misaligned it can cause vibration. Now, why is it that the shoes and drums are not aligned?

Usually, the most common cause of misalignment is a warped rear drum. It is also possible that the rear drums are good, if this is the case then the problem is the rear wheel bearings. The bearings are already worn out or loose. A bearing that is worn or loose can cause an indirect misalignment between the shoes and the drums.

Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to first check the rear bearings for any looseness or wear. If the rear bearings are in good condition, the next thing to do is to have the rear brake drums machined so that the warpage of the drum will be corrected.

Brake Pedal Vibrates While Applying Brakes
If the brake pedal vibrates only during very heavy braking and if the car has an anti-lock brake, pedal vibration is not a problem, but a normal condition for anti-lock brakes.
Learn more: Brake Pedal Vibrates While Applying Brakes

Once the drum is corrected, you need to replace the brake shoe because it will not be aligned well to the corrected drums it is necessary for the machined drums to be fitted with new shoes so that both parts will have even contact with each other during brake application to avoid car shakes when braking.
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Why is the AntiLlock Brake Light On?

Why is the anti-lock brake light on? Well if the abs light came on it means that there is a fault somewhere in the anti-lock brake system. But if the ABS light came on for a couple of seconds when the engine is started then this is normal, it indicates self-test of the system.

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Brake Light on Dash comes on and off

The brake light on the dash comes on and off while driving, the reason for this is that the brake fluid is slightly low.

Possible Cause of Brake Light on Dash that comes on and off

Brake Fluid is Slightly Low
Usually, if the brake light on the dash comes on and off while driving it indicates a slightly low level of brake fluid. The top of the brake fluid reservoir is a sensor that triggers the brake warning lights to go on every time the brake fluid is low or even when the fluid is slightly low. Because the brake warning light only flashed and will not come on steadily then the brake fluid is just slightly low. Usually, the brake light flashes only when the car drove over a dip or bump, this causes the brake fluid to slosh inside the reservoir and will not be in contact with the sensor, if the sensor did not sense contact with the brake fluid then the warning light will come on.


Carefully add enough amount of brake fluid on the reservoir, you can buy high-quality brake fluid at any auto shop usually DOT3 or DOT4 is the brake fluid to use. When filling the reservoir does not leave it open for a longer time because the presence of moisture in the air will contaminate the brake fluid and can cause the problem in the future. Also, avoid the fluid to make contact on the body of your car because it can damage the paint.

Related Topics:
Anti-lock Braking System Warning Light Came On While Driving
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Steering Wheel Shakes when I Brake

Steering wheel shakes when I brake, usually, this is the most common question I received. On this article, I will try to answer this common problem, during braking when the brake pedal is depressed you will feel the vibration on the steering wheel.

Possible cause of shaking on the steering wheel when applying Brakes

Misalignment of Front Pads and Discs
The steering wheel is connected to the front end and the front end is connected to the front brakes since the steering wheel shakes when applying the brakes, therefore, the problem has something to do with the front brakes.

Steering Wheel Shakes when I Brake

The most common cause of steering wheel shakes when braking is a misalignment of front pads and discs, misalignment means that the pads and the disc are not aligned to make even contact with each other during braking that results in vibration. Misalignment happens when the front disc is warped or when the front wheel bearings are worn/loose in this case it can indirectly cause the misalignment between the pads and disc.

Bring the car to a reputable car shop and ask the mechanic to firstly check the front wheel bearings for any wear or looseness. If the front wheel bearings are in good condition then warpage is the cause of the problem. Have the front brake discs machined to correct the warpage, after the fronts discs are corrected you also need to replace the brake pads to have an even contact to the newly machined front discs and eliminate the vibration of the steering wheel when applying the brake?

Related topics:
Car Shakes When Braking


All Brakes Partly on after Brake Pedal is Release

After the brake pedal is release all brakes are still partly on. This is because of the brake drag or a problem on the master cylinder.


Brake Pedal is Hard to Depress When Braking

Conditions when the car trouble occurs

An extra hard step is necessary when the driver steps on the brake pedal to stop the car.


Possible cause of car trouble

There is a problem with the power brake unit.


Car troubleshooting

The most car now a day is equipped with vacuum-assisted power brakes so that the car braking is much easier and less effort is exerted when the brake pedal is depressed. Since the power brakes make the stepping of brake pedal much easier therefore if the power brakes have a problem then the brake pedal becomes stiff and the driver needs a lot of effort to step on the pedal so that the car will stop.

Vacuum-assisted power brakes are a device that uses a vacuum coming from the engine to make it easier for the driver to step on the brake pedal when stopping the car. The vacuum-assisted power brakes have a vacuum hose running from the engine going into a metal or plastic canister that is located between the firewall and the master cylinder. Now, observed the following condition so that the problem can easily be identified and isolated.

If the engine is running rough at any condition then the problem is a leaking or a broken vacuum hose. However, when the engine only runs rough when the driver depresses the brake pedal even when the car is not moving then the problem is the brake canister.

How to correct the problem of hard to depress pedal when the brake is applied?

What to do?

The first thing to do is to confirm if the car is equipped with vacuum-assisted power brakes. To identify if the car has vacuum-assisted power brakes open the hood and inspect if there is a metal or plastic canister located in between the master cylinder and the firewall, usually the vacuum assisted unit is a round metal or plastic with a diameter of 10 to 14 inches with 4 to 7 inches thick it is easily be spotted since no other metal canister can be seen on that area with that size so it is safe to say that vacuum-assisted power brake is located.

Brake Pedal Vibrates While Applying Brakes
If the brake pedal vibrates only during very heavy braking and if the car has an anti-lock brake, pedal vibration is not a problem, but a normal condition for anti-lock brakes.
Learn more: Brake Pedal Vibrates While Applying Brakes

Next is to check the hose that runs from the vacuum assisted unit going into the engine. Observe the hose if there is any leak or crack develop on the hose. When the hose is in good condition, ask the mechanic to inspect the power brake unit and replace it if there is a problem with the unit. Usually, the power brake unit is cannot be repaired so a replacement is necessary.

Rear Brake Dragging after Brake Pedal is Release

Conditions when the car trouble occurs
After the brake pedal is release the rear brakes is still partly engage or the brake is dragging.

Possible cause of car trouble
1. The shoe retracting spring is broken.
2. The piston cylinder is stuck.

Car problem troubleshooting
The car rear wheel is mostly use a drum type brake system, with the drum type brake system it consist of a cylinder piston that forces the brake shoe against the drum when the driver step on the brake pedal. When the brake shoe and the drum are made contact with each other, the car will stop. Now, when the brake pedal is release the brake shoe is pulled away from the drum by the use of the retracting springs so that the wheel will turn again freely when the car starts to move again.

Clunk Noise from Front End When Braking

During braking when the brake pedal is depressed there is a clunk noise which can be heard coming from the front end.


Click Noise on the Front End When Braking

When the brake is applied click noi,se is heard coming from the front end, usually the cause of the problem is a loose disc brake components.


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Brake Pedal Goes Further than Normal

When the brake pedal was depressed, it goes further than normal, this is because the system do not have brake fluid or the brake lining worn out.


Front End Dives when Braking

Conditions when car trouble occurs
After the driver step on the brake pedal to stop the car the front end of the car dives.

Possible cause of car trouble
1)Problem with the front shocks
2)Problem with the front strut cartridges

Troubleshooting car problem
If the car front end dives when the brake is applies, this does not necessary mean that there is a problem on the brake system but rather a problem on the suspension particularly the front shock absorber or the front strut cartridges. Front suspension has two key components which is the shocks and the spring. These two components are separated with each other, however there are also cars in which these two key components are integrated into a single unit in this case it is called the strut. The shock portion of the strut is the strut cartridges or the damper.

In the front suspension the purpose of the spring is to absorb the bumps on the road and the shock absorber on the strut cartridges is the one that keep the bouncing of your car restricted. Now when the brake is applied, the weight of your car will be thrown into the front end. This weight will be absorbed by the front spring. If the shocks or the cartridges are faulty it will not control the contraction of the spring and this makes the front end of your car to dive.

What to do Next to Fix Front End Dives when Braking?
First is to determine what type of suspension you have on your car, identify if the suspension is shock type or strut type. If the problem is the shocks just replace the parts. But if the mechanic recommends that the spring is also needed to be replaced, do not agree with the recommendation because springs do not usually wear out and it may cost you for a part that is not necessary to be replaced.

If your car has strut type suspension it is necessary to replace the assembly since most car do not have replaceable strut cartridges however just replaced the strut cartridges if it can be replace. Replacing the strut cartridges will depend on the model of your car most car do not have replaceable strut cartridges. You can verify if the strut on your car is replaceable or not, contact your car local dealer and ask about the particular model of your car if the cartridges is replaceable or not.

Rattling Sound Coming from Brake

There is a rattling noise coming from brake. Rattling sound that comes from the brake is usually caused of loose parts on the affected brakes.

 

Car Pulls to One Side When Braking

The car pulls to one side when the brake is applied. When the car pulls to one side when the brake is applied, there are three possible causes for this problem that is the front tires, front end, and front brakes. To determine which of the three causes the problems check the car.

Check the front tires
Using a tire pressure gauge, measure the tire pressure of the left and right front tire. Compare if both tires have the same tire pressure. When tires have uneven tire pressure then the cause of the problem is imbalance tire pressure. When both tires are identically inflated then the problem is not the tire pressure. The next to check is the front end. Read also: How to Check Tyre Pressure

Check front end alignment
To check the front end alignment, drive the car on a level road. Relax your grip on the steering wheel and check if the car pulls to one side. Do not step on the brake pedal when doing this test to determine if the car also pulls to one side even when the brake is not applied.

If the car pulls to one side, then the problem is the front end alignment. If the car does not pull to one side then it is not the front end alignment, next to check is the brake.

Check the brakes
To check the brakes, park the car on a level road and engage the parking brake. Loosen the nut on both the front tires. Jack up the car so that both front tires will jack up. Place a tripod under the car than lower the car into the tripod. Do this on the other side of the car. Next is to remove the front tires so that the brakes will be exposed. Inspect the brake disc for any oily substance present on the disc. Rub your finger on the disc and feel if there is any grease or fluid on the surface of the disc.

If there is oil, grease or fluid present on the surface of the disc then the problem is a contaminated disc which causes the pulling. Disc brake works when there is friction between the disc and the brake pads, if there is a presence of substance as mentioned above, frictions between disc and pads will be reduced and this will result to reduce braking performance on the affected side. If this scenario will happen, the right side and the left side brake will not have even braking and this will result in the car pulling to one side especially the affected side when the brake is applied.

If there is no presence of grease, oil or fluid on the disc the next thing to check is the disc, inspect if one disc is thicker than the other. Using a ruler measure the thickness of the disc (a micrometer is an accurate tool for measuring the thickness of the disc).

If one of the discs is thicker than the other disc then a mismatch disc is the cause of the car pulling to one side. In order for the car become stable and not pulling when the brake is applied the brakes must be identical if one is thicker then the problem will occur.

If both discs are identical then the only possible problem is the brake caliper, in this case, you need a mechanic to confirm this problem.

How to fix car pulling to one side when braking
Uneven tire pressure
Just add enough air on the underinflated tire so that both the front tires will have the same pressure. Also, make sure that the tire pressure is in standard intended for your car model.

Front end alignment
Bring the car to the car shop and let the mechanic inspect the front end and align if necessary. One or more components may need to be replaced but before agreeing to replacements have a second opinion with another mechanic.

Presence of oil, grease or fluid on front brakes
Bring the car to a car shop and have a mechanic to look for any leak on the brake system that causes the presence of oil, grease or fluid. The brake caliper and the brake line is the portion to be checked and repair or replace if necessary.

Brake disc mismatch
Replace the disc to become a match with each other. When placing the disc consider also replacing the pads.

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