While there are several reasons brakes lock up, one is a dragging caliper piston. The friction this causes heats brake fluid and increases the pressure in the brake lines, locking a single wheel. Taking the car for a short drive and then checking the wheels for one that is warmer than the rest is a quick way to check for this problem.Continue Reading
On vehicles with anti-lock brakes, lockups are rare. However, bad pads, calipers or cylinders as well as the master cylinder all cause problems on occasion.
If all the brakes lock simultaneously, the master cylinder is likely the problem. This hydraulic cylinder converts the mechanical force of pushing the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure to move the pads against the rotors. Over time, seals in the master cylinder begin to break down, causing retention of pressure in brake lines. All the pads rub against the rotors and generate heat, increasing the pressure. In turn, the calipers force the pads against the rotors with more force, locking up the vehicle.
According to Popular Mechanics, repairing a master cylinder is the most expensive brake repair. The magazine encourages owners to pay a few dollars more to replace calipers and rotors, for the peace of mind that their brake problems are in the past for several years.Learn more about Brakes
There are four primary reasons that brake calipers begin to stick: malfunctioning caliper slides, worn out brake hoses, dry or rusty caliper bolts, and debris inside the brake caliper piston. Because brake calipers have many different parts that need to perform different functions to provide their slowing and stopping power, there are many different possible reasons for a caliper to stick.Full Answer >
Disc brakes, which are the most common type of brake assembly, contain brake pads, a rotor, caliper and support. The master cylinder, which is located in the engine compartment, the brake lines and brake fluid are also part of the brake system.Full Answer >
Different things can cause brakes to make a grinding sound, including severe wear to the brake pads or something coming in contact with the brake caliper. As the pads become wore down, the caliper comes into direct contact with the rotor.Full Answer >
Jake brakes work by opening the exhaust valve at the end of a diesel engine’s compression stroke to vent the compressed air through the exhaust so it does not cause a rebound of the piston to begin the next cycle. The system uses hydraulic pressure for opening the valves. While Jake brakes are noisy, they are effective enough to slow the vehicle on a downhill incline without use of its surface brakes.Full Answer >