Before taking your car on a drive, one should ensure that the brakes are working fine. If the brakes are not in proper condition, they need to be repaired at the earliest or one can end up in trouble that can even cost a life.
The car's brake is very important to the driver as it is used to slow down or stop the car. It can be very difficult to stop the car if it has a severe brake problem. Car brakes can be of different types, and are installed by the manufacturer, according to the speed of the car. Disc brakes and drum brakes are commonly used in most cars. Sports and modern cars come with disc brakes installed either in the front, the rear, or both. These brakes are installed because of the car's high speed, and are very effective in slowing down the speed or stopping the car. Automobiles that were manufactured earlier came with a drum brake system as their speed was comparatively lower than that of modern cars. Moreover, the disk brake system was not fully developed at that time. Drum brakes are, however, less effective than disc brakes. Any kind of negligence in car problems can incur a heavy repair cost. Some problems are not that troublesome, but can lead to issues if not rectified. Let's discuss some of the common brake problems and ways to get rid of them.
Squealing Sound from Brakes
A squealing sound from brakes doesn't indicate any improper usage of the car brakes, but can indicate their wear and tear. If you start hearing a high-pitched squeal when you press the brake pedal, the problem may lie in the brake pads. The squealing sound is the manufacturer's technique of letting the driver know that the brake pads are worn out and need replacement. If the sound is not that loud or is intermittent, one needs to check for dirt and dust in the pads. This problem can be fixed by washing the car at an automated car wash station. There can be many other problems such as low quality of brake liners, improper brake shoes, poor condition of backing plate, broken retaining springs, improper alignment of brake adjusters, etc. If there is a continuous squeal from the wheel, the wheel bearings can be at fault. If the squealing sound comes even when you are not applying the brakes, then the brake pads are almost worn out, and cannot be used anymore. If this problem is not corrected, it can have a negative effect on the brake rotors as well.
When the brake pedal is pressed to the floor, the brakes are not as effective as they should normally be. This can be due to the low level of brake fluid. Fill up the brake fluid to an appropriate level. Water in the brake fluid can also be a problem which causes loss in braking power. Brake pads can be worn out even if there is no squealing from the wheel, indicating that they need to be replaced.
Hard Brake Pedal
If you press the brake pedal and feel that it's too hard, there can be a vacuum problem. The brake booster uses vacuum to make the brakes work. If there is a leak in the vacuum system, the negative pressure that is needed won't be present. The vacuum system needs to be checked for leaks. A bad brake booster can also be an issue if the pedal is hard. There can also be a possibility of the inability of the brake fluid to reach a particular part in the brake system due to some obstruction.
Pedal Easily Pressed without any Effect
If you press the brake pedal to the floor and it has no effect on the brakes, the brake fluid needs to be checked. There can be air present in the fluid that can also cause this problem. A bad master cylinder can be a possible cause for the brakes to have no pressure. The worst thing about master cylinders is that they can't be repaired and have to be replaced.
Intermittent Action of Brakes
When you apply brakes, they are supposed to react in a smooth and even manner. If the pedal is pressed for a longer duration, and the car gets brakes intermittently, it is possible that the brake pads and discs are faulty or worn out. If the discs have gone bad, they need to be replaced. But disc replacement should always be done in pairs and not one sided.
So, henceforth, if you come across any problem related to car brakes, ensure that it is diagnosed and fixed as early as possible, to avoid trouble in the future. It is highly recommended to service and check the car brakes periodically for any possible problem.