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Published On: Tue, Nov 5th, 2013

How to Troubleshoot Your Brakes

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Troubleshooting process:

1. Brake pedal need to travel till the end to get break effect:
This can be due to low brake oil level, if there is a leak of brake oil or you haven’t changed the brake oil for a while this can happen.
Air in brake fluid can be another reason, in conditions where we have more moisture content there is a chance for moisture entry to the brake circuit, as the vehicle becomes hot this evaporates and become water vapour. This is how presents of air come in the brake lines. This will give pneumatic effect. The hydraulic brake line is only filled with incompressible fluid, but as air enters in to it and as it is compressible the failure occurs. Solution to this problem is to bleed the hydraulic brake, there by removing the air from the brake circuit.
If the brake pads are worn out, this failure can happen.
Brake power boost unit failure can also result in low brake pedal travel, the function of the brake power boost is to ease the brake effort, but if it fails the brake pedal travel can happen.

2. Brake too firm: this can be due to two reasons like — brake boost failure and brake oil flow blocked, if there is any foreign material of obstruction to the flow of brake fluid. This will resist the brake to get applied by making it firm.
3. Soft brake effect or spongy brake effect: This is the effect of soft or spongy feel when you step on the brake pedal and this can be caused due to low brake fluid level, air in fluid which makes it soft due to pneumatic effect, uneven wear on brake pads.

4. Grabbing brakes: Brake get hold on and difficult to get released even though the brake pedal was retrieved, this are due to worn brake pads and brake disc failures.

How Hydraulic brake master cylinder works video picture components

5. Pulling brakes: The vehicle steers to one side as brake is released, the is because – as we release the brake, only one of the brake gets released and the other one holds to the tyre resulting in pulling the car to one side.
6. Pedal vibration: this is due to brake pad failure, brake disc failure, alignment problem, front suspension failure.

7. Dragging brakes: same as of grabbing, here the parking brake gets hold on the disc even though its been released. Reasons are wheel cylinder failure, parking brake failure.

8. Squelling brake: a high pitch squelling sound occurs from the brake side. This is due to brake pad worn out or brake pad vibration.

9. Clucking sound brakes: this happens due to any loose components (bolt/ nut) or suspension components (worn/ broken)

10. Steering wheel shake: this normally happens in vehicle with disc brakes, in this cases front brake needs machining or even replacing.

11. Grinding brakes: this is one of the most extensive level of brake failure. This failure can damage disc and drums. This happens due to brake linings getting extensively worn out. Metal to metal contact happens in this case which can result in the failure of the critical mechanical parts of the brake, which will cost you more. So if such a failure is notices don’t drive the vehicle, it’s not safe. Park it and call a brake mechanic.

12. Bouncing up and down brakes: this is due to shock absorber failure and not a brake failure.

So above are the symptoms of brake failure. If you see any of this issue, please don’t ignore it for the sake of your safety and the safety of other on the road. Contact and mechanic and clear the issue.
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