Bad breaks can really wreck your day. But how can you tell if you’re braking badly?
The most common symptom of bad brakes is whining, squealing or grinding and the culprit is almost always worn brake pads. Replace them as soon as you start to notice the noise to prevent further damage.
If you’re applying pressure to the brake pedal and you have to push it down too far before your vehicle starts to slow, or, even worse, if it goes to the floor and you get no braking power, you might have one of these problems:
Low brake fluid- This is easy to check, and if it’s low, just top it off. Bring it in for a look-see, though, to ensure you don’t have a leak in the line somewhere.
Contaminated brake fluid- If air or condensation gets into your brake line, it can cause shoddy performance. Bleeding the line and replacing the contaminated fluid is the best fix in this situation.
Master cylinder problem- If your master cylinder is bad, it can’t be repaired and will have to be replaced. Consult an expert to determine this is the problem.
Note: No matter what the problem is, if you notice your brakes aren’t providing much stopping power, bring it into a shop IMMEDIATELY. And make sure you know what to do if your brakes do fail.
Of course, your brake pedal might be too firm and that could mean a problem with the brake booster (which will need to be checked out by a shop) or an obstruction in the brake line. Some obstructions you may see, such as a pinch, but there could also be a piece of rust inside the line. Bleeding them or replacing the damaged lines is the way to fix obstructions.
Are you experiencing grabbing (uneven application of stopping power) or pulling (to one side or the other) when you apply your brakes? You may have worn brake pads or bad brake discs. Pads and discs are easy enough to replace, but do them in pairs so they wear evenly.
Feeling a shimmy or a vibration when you apply pressure to the brake pedal? It could be a lot of things, including bad brake pads, bad brake discs, bad alignment, and worn front suspension.
If you’re experiencing any troubles with your brakes, just swing into your local Tuffy store and we’ll troubleshoot the problem for you, free of charge.