When brakes aren’t working correctly, it causes the driver a lot of anxiety- not only is their reliability unknown, but so is the outcome! Some issues that you can have with your brakes are more dangerous than others, but here are some easy ways to test the severity of the problem.
1. Soft Brake Pedal
This could be the cause of several issues, so you should try troubleshooting while the vehicle is not moving. If the pedal feels spongy when applying steady pressure, you may have air in your brake line.
The brake can sometimes feel more like you’re stepping on rotten fruit, and requires pumping to get the vehicle to stop. This signifies a very dangerous problem- usually a leak in the braking system. You can double check this diagnosis by checking the brake fluid.
If the pedal stays firm or sinks slowly to the floor, it can mean your master cylinder is defective. It can break on the inside or outside of the cylinder, so just because you don’t see an active leak doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.
2. Car Pulls Sideways When Braking
The most common reason for this braking reaction is that you have a stuck caliper. This usually results in a brake fluid leak as well, so immediate attention is best. The best way to fix a stuck caliper is to replace it entirely rather than just moving it out the way. A caliper getting stuck is usually a sign that it is getting old and it can continue to get stuck if not replaced.
3. Pulsing or Shaking When Braking
Not only is it unnerving to have your whole car shake or feel pulsing pedals, but it is also a warning sign. Rotors are an important component of a brake and must keep their shape intact. If you are getting this warning sign, it means that your rotors are getting old and are losing their shape. This is very common, because brakes are constantly heating up and cooling down, so the metal eventually starts to become misshapen. This is especially common in commuter cars that see a lot of highway driving and braking during high traffic times.
Replacing the rotor entirely is up to you. Mechanics can also reshape them if they are still very thick and have a lot of life in them. Either is a fine option and will get you back on the road in no time.
Contact a service like Eagle Automotive & Wrecker Service to learn more.