Q:

What causes front brakes to lock up?

A:

Quick Answer

The most common culprit of locked-up brakes is a malfunction in the master cylinder. The master cylinder is the primary operating system that produces mechanical force from the brake pedal to pistons that operate the drum brakes. The master cylinder system relies on seals leading to the brakes to maintain pressure so the brake system slides to a stop with ease.

Know More

Full Answer

When the seals in the master cylinder break down, the pistons in the system do not return properly, and the line pressure to the brake pads becomes uneven. This chain of events causes the brakes to overheat and lock up. If just one set of brakes locks up, the cause may lie within a caliper piston that is dragging, ultimately causing friction and overheating the brake fluid that then throws off the in-line pressure of that particular brake system.

While replacing the master cylinder is the most expensive repair to fix the brakes, vehicle owners can have a certified mechanic check to see if replacing individual calipers and rotors might provide a solution to brakes locking up before embarking on more major repairs. Routine brake maintenance and brake pad replacement also serves as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of locked-up brakes.

Learn more about Brakes

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Whom can you hire to replace rear disc brakes?

    A:

    Hire brake shops such as Midas or Brake Check to repair or replace rear disc brakes on a car. These two companies specialize in repairing and replacing brake systems and offer a variety of warranties on their vehicles. They have locations in most major metropolitan areas in the United States.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do electromagnetic brakes work?

    A:

    Electromagnetic brakes slow down or stop a moving machine by using an electromagnetic force to apply friction to its wheels. These brakes receive the electromagnetic force they require from a magnetic field comprised of a magnetic coil and a coil shell that is bolted to the machine frame.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long do brake rotors last?

    A:

    While disc brakes tend to last anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 miles, the length of time brake rotors typically last depends on several different factors. These factors include how often the brakes are applied, how hard they are applied, the weight of the vehicle and how often the brakes have been serviced.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens when you drive with the emergency brake on?

    A:

    Most of the time, driving with the emergency brake engaged does little harm, but the driver should have a professional inspect the brakes for damage. In many instances, the driver notes the smell of hot brakes and disengages the brake, but prolonged driving with the brake engaged potentially ruins the rear brake shoe linings or drums.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore