If your car’s brakes fail, it is a huge problem. If this happens while you are on the road, it is quite difficult to slow down, and this could lead to a crash. Brake problems are quite daunting if you do not know what causes them. Therefore, you might want to know some common brake problems and what causes them, at least before you inevitably take the car to a mechanic.
SOFT BRAKE PEDAL
This is a serious issue. if your car brake pedal feels soft when you step on it, you need to try as much as possible to not drive any further. This could be caused by a leak in the braking system. You would need to check your master cylinder for leaks (refer to your car owner’s manual). If indeed you have a leak, you need to replace the master cylinder.
CAR PULLS TO ONE SIDE WHEN BRAKING
This is one of the most annoying common brake problems. There are several possible causes, the most common being a frozen caliper. This in turn has several causes, most of which involve moisture getting to the caliper. The best way to fix this is to replace the caliper. Also, a faulty proportioning valve or master cylinder might cause the car to pull to one side when braking. This is unusual, though. When this happens, you should identify the particular part of the car where the brake fluids have leaked, and replace the faulty part.
STEERING WHEEL SHAKES WHEN BRAKING
This is one of the more common brake problems, as it can occur on any model of vehicle. There are many possible causes of this issue, which could include warped front rotors, hot spots on your rotors, pad impressions etc. This issue can be fixed by resurfacing your rotors or replacing them.
WHOLE CAR SHAKES WHEN BRAKING
This could be due to a fault in the rear brakes. To know if this is the problem, try to apply your parking brakes slightly while driving on an empty stretch of road. Do not do this at high speeds. Just pull the emergency brake enough to feel the rear brakes grab slightly. If your rear drums are the cause of the problem, you will feel the car vibrate slightly. If this is the case, you have to resurface the rear drums or replace them. However, this only works if you have rear drum brakes; if you have rear disc brakes, this may not be effective.
BRAKE PEDAL GOES UP AND DOWN WHEN BRAKING
This could be caused by the rotors getting warped. As the rotors get older, they undergo heating and cooling a lot of times. Thus, they lose their shape over time. The best way to fix this is to resurface the rotors if they are still thick enough, or replacing them entirely.