Brakes

A:

Some reasons why a brake pedal may depress all the way to the floor include loss of brake fluid, a faulty master cylinder or a bad brake booster. Drivers who "ride the brakes," or constantly depress the brake pedal while driving, can cause this condition.

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  • How do hydraulic breaking systems work?

    Q: How do hydraulic breaking systems work?

    A: According to HowStuffWorks, a hydraulic braking system works by applying force at one point and transmitting it to another point via an incompressible fluid. In a hydraulic braking system for a car, for instance, the force is applied by the driver's foot on the brake pedal. This force is then transmitted to the brakes via the brake fluid.
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  • What causes uneven brake pad wear?

    Q: What causes uneven brake pad wear?

    A: Common causes of uneven brake pad wear include driving with warped rotors, a clogged brake line or leaky calipers. Vehicles that are heavier in the front than in the rear can wear brake pads unevenly due to an uneven distribution of weight. Debris in the breaking system, such as rocks or other foreign objects, wears brake pads down unevenly as well.
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  • What could cause a car to shake when braking at high speed?

    Q: What could cause a car to shake when braking at high speed?

    A: A problem with the brake disk rotors is the most common cause of vibration when braking at high speeds. Rotors are circular metal parts found behind the wheel of the vehicle that the brake pads press against to create friction and stop the vehicle. Small irregularities in the rotors transfer to the steering wheel when applying the brakes. Another cause of vibration is improperly tightened lug nuts.
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  • What happens if the brake fluid is low in a car?

    Q: What happens if the brake fluid is low in a car?

    A: Motor vehicles with low brake fluid require a mechanical inspection to avoid experiencing a brake system failure. Low brake fluid typically means that a vehicle's brake pads are wearing thin or that there is a leak in the brake line system. Neglecting to address low brake fluid is bound to lead to potentially unsafe and expensive problems.
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  • What are the signs of bad rotors?

    Q: What are the signs of bad rotors?

    A: Signs of bad rotors include vibration when the brake petal is depressed, and a visual inspection that reveals wear and tear. Rotors can be replaced or resurfaced unless they are under a certain thickness. A rotor that is too thin does not absorb the immense heat of the braking process and may crack or break while in use, causing brake failure.
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  • Why do my brakes grind when I come to a stop?

    Q: Why do my brakes grind when I come to a stop?

    A: If a car's brakes grind when the car comes to a stop, worn out or defective brake pads could be damaging the rotors of the brakes. Brake problems of any kind should be inspected and taken care of as soon as possible to avoid further damage and reduce the chances of the brakes failing entirely.
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  • What causes the brake pedal to go all the way in?

    Q: What causes the brake pedal to go all the way in?

    A: Some reasons why a brake pedal may depress all the way to the floor include loss of brake fluid, a faulty master cylinder or a bad brake booster. Drivers who "ride the brakes," or constantly depress the brake pedal while driving, can cause this condition.
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  • Why is my brake pedal hard to push?

    Q: Why is my brake pedal hard to push?

    A: A brake pedal can be hard to push because of several factors, including a brake pedal getting caught on something, failure of the power brake booster or a sticking shoe, which causes the brake fluid to boil. Additionally, a brake can be hard to push if water builds up in the brake line or as a result of a restriction in the brake line.
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  • What causes squeaking brakes?

    Q: What causes squeaking brakes?

    A: When the brake pads come in contact with the brake rotor to slow and stop a vehicle, the pressure and friction occasionally cause a vibration that produces a squeaking sound. These squeaks are often normal, but they may also mean that the brakes are starting to wear out.
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  • What happens when you drive with the emergency brake on?

    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.
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  • How is a brake chamber measured?

    Q: How is a brake chamber measured?

    A: An air brake chamber is measured by locating size markings on the brake chamber or by measuring the diameter of the clamp holding the chamber together. Measuring the diameter requires a special tool, whereas locating the size markings may require the removal of dirt, corrosion or paint. Brake chamber sizes can be found in the vehicle owner's manual.
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  • What is the average life of brake pads?

    Q: What is the average life of brake pads?

    A: The average life of brake pads is 30,000 to 70,000 miles. A number of factors affect the point at which brake pads wear out. Pads are made of various materials for different types of braking systems.
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  • How do you release a stuck parking brake?

    Q: How do you release a stuck parking brake?

    A: If an emergency brake is stuck, it may help to pump the regular brake a few times, lubricate the emergency brake cable or release button, or locate a repair manual for vehicle-specific instructions. If the car changes gears, shifting the gear from drive to reverse a few times may also loosen the emergency brake.
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  • Q: How do brake booster kits improve your car's performance?

    A: Brake booster kits make the job of using the brakes less strenuous for drivers of vehicles without power brakes. Most modern vehicles are equipped with brake boosters from the factory in the form of power brakes. Many older and classic cars have drum brakes and were not manufactured with brake boosters. Depending on the vehicle, some older cars may not be able to accommodate the addition of brake booster kits.
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  • Q: What is the average cost of a brake replacement?

    A: As of 2015, brake replacements usually cost around $130 to $900 per axle, depending on the make and model of the car. Prices are customarily higher at car dealerships than at standard repair shops.
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  • How do you fix squeaky brakes?

    Q: How do you fix squeaky brakes?

    A: To fix squeaky brakes, clean the brake pads and rotors with WD-40 spray to remove dust and debris, and adjust the caliper bolts. If needed, replace the brake pads and rotors, and refill the brake lubricant reservoir. Raise the car with a jack before beginning this task.
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  • Q: How do you install disc brakes in your car?

    A: To install or replace disc brakes in a car, start by removing the wheel and taking out the calipers with the hose attached. Install the new rotor and replace the calipers if necessary, then drain all the liquid from the caliper and discard. Attach the brake hose and place new brake pads into the caliper, then bolt the caliper into the bracket and reattach the wheel.
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  • Q: How do you read a truck air brake schematic?

    A: To read an air brake schematic for a truck, you need to understand what the different components on the schematic represent. These components include the air compressor, valves, brake chambers, air dryer and reservoir tanks.
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  • Q: Why would a vehicle stall when the brakes are applied?

    A: A vehicle may stall when someone hits the brakes due to problems with the transmitter throttle trim, low speed needle, clutch spring, engine idle speed and brake linage. Some of the issues require part replacement and some require adjustments.
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  • Q: Why do my brakes pulsate when stopping?

    A: An uneven rotor surface is the most common cause of pulsation that drivers feel in their brake pedal while braking. Tomorrow's Technician explains that the surface of brake rotors, sometimes called brake discs, should not vary any more than 0.001 inches around the entire rotor. This means that even the slightest variation in the surface of a rotor or disc is felt by drivers when braking.
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  • Q: How do you change brake pads?

    A: To change a vehicle's brake pads, first remove the wheel and the brake assembly. Next, remove the old pads and install the new brake pads. It is of utmost importance that you place every object back exactly the way it was before removal.
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