Your life is at risk if your car brake is worn-out. Even a minor problem with car brakes can be dangerous. Whenever you find problem in braking, the earliest thing you must do is take your car to an experienced mechanic. There are many things that can cause brake problems and brake failure, however, you can make out some of the potential causes on your own. At times, diagnosing or troubleshooting car brake problems can be quite simple though brake repairing may be not. To keep you on the safer side, here are given some simple guidelines to help you identify the possible problems with brakes.
- Check The Brake Fluid -Whenever you find break lights on, you should check the brake fluid. The fluid level in the container should not be lower than ‘Min’ mark and it should be actually close to ‘Max’ mark. Low levels of fluid indicate that brake pads are worn out. Another possible cause could be leakage of fluid. In any case, the car should not be driven if the brake fluid level is low.
- ABS Brake Light Comes On - It indicates a problem with the antilock brake system. With this, the onboard computer disables the ABS system. However, the brakes still functions without ABS. This can be really problematic in an emergency situation.
- Brake Warning Light Comes On -It can happen during three conditions, first when the emergency brake is on, second when the car has lesser brake fluid and lastly when leakage occurs in one side of the brake system. In the first case, you can check the emergency brakes; however in the second and third case, take the car for fluids service.
- Locked Brakes -Whenever you touch the brakes, the car bends sharply to the side and even the wheel might lock up and skid. It can be caused by a bad disc caliper, wheel bearing problems, loose or broken brake pads, or contamination of the brake pads. It is also a serious problem which should be treated at once.
- Hard Brakes -It can be caused by problems varying from a poor power brake booster, failed caliper components to a failed vacuum line. To deal with the problem, examine the floor under the brake pedal. Otherwise, take the help of a mechanic.
- Brake Pulls Car To Left Or Right When Braking -It can be caused by sticking or failed brake calipers, or due to problems with the brake pad. If you find the problem severe, get your vehicle repaired. If the pull shifts from left to right, it is not a brake problem but is likely to be a suspension problem.
- After driving, you experience a burning rubber/chemical smell -It can be caused down to burning brakes; however, it can be an indicator of a clutch problem. If your car pulls to one side or the other while driving, simply stop the car and check that the emergency brake is off. It’s time to get your vehicle repaired.
- Grinding Noise From Wheels - It can occur due to unwanted particles trapped in your brakes. It can also suggest that you need to have your brake rotors replaced. Take your vehicle for brake service.
- Brake Pedal Pulsates or Vehicle Vibrates When Braking - This is possibly due to distorted brake rotors or drums. Otherwise, it could happen because of overheated brakes or over-tightened lug nuts. If you find problem in both the brake pedal and the steering wheel, then it could be from the front wheels. Get brake inspection of your car done.
- Brake Pedal Gets Spongy - It could indicate a minor as well as a major problem. First of all, check the brake fluid level and fill the container to the marked level. It can also be caused by a leakage in your brake line or a failing master cylinder. In any case, this is a serious problem and should be treated as soon as possible.
- Brakes Barely Stop The Car - It is like the problem of the brake pedal getting spongy. Probably the brake pads/ shoes are worn out. Once more, it’s better to take the car for repairing.
- Brakes Squeal - At time, dust and dirt get trapped in the wheels. For this, take your car through an automated car wash and check if this solves the problem.
Besides the above-mentioned problems, the other car brake problems could be automated brake adjusters that require alignment, cheap brake linings, broken brake return or retaining springs, a bent backing plate, and warped brake shoes. Whatever the problem may be, it’s always better to take your vehicle to an authentic service center and get it repaired as soon as possible.