Brakes

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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: How Do You Bleed ABS Brakes on a Chevrolet Vehicle?

    A: To bleed the anti-lock braking system on a Chevrolet, park the vehicle on a flat surface, and secure the vehicle on jack stands. Loosen the lug nuts, and remove the right rear tire. Press the brake pedal to pressurize the system, loosen the bleeder, press the brake pedal, and tighten the bleeder. Repeat this process on the remaining three tires. If necessary, bleed the brakes as recommended, attach a service tool, cycle the brakes, and bleed the brakes again.
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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: What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Master Cylinder?

    A: Symptoms of a bad master cylinder include leaking fluid, fading pedal and bad brake fluid. When the brake pedal starts to sink, becomes unresponsive or feels spongy, the master cylinder is malfunctioning. A bad master cylinder does not transfer the power from the brake pedal to stop the vehicle safely.
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  • 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.
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  • Q: Do Bad Shocks Make a Noise?

    A: Bad shocks and struts sometimes make noises. When a vehicle's shocks go bad, the noises may be caused by friction or banging from bumps and vibrations.
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  • How Does a Brake Servo Work?

    Q: How Does a Brake Servo Work?

    A: A brake servo, also known as a brake or vacuum booster, works by creating a partial vacuum within, which then increases the force applied to the main cylinder. With a brake servo, the brake pedal first presses an attached rod, which then allows air to enter the booster while closing the vacuum. Pressure then increases on the rod that connects to a rod inside the master cylinder.
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  • Q: How Do You Use a Diagram When Replacing Brake Parts?

    A: Diagrams such as those used for brake systems are used as a guide to help direct where parts are supposed to be replaced. The standard brake diagram consists of a caliper, master cylinder, brake lines, pads and rotors. It shows the placement of all of these parts as well as their proper functions.
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  • Why Does My Ford Explorer ABS Light Stay On?

    Q: Why Does My Ford Explorer ABS Light Stay On?

    A: The ABS light in a Ford Explorer comes on and stays on when there is a problem with the brake system or in cases where spark plugs are wearing thin. This light indicates there is an issue with stopping power that generates issues when trying to stop rapidly or in bad weather. An ABS light sometimes comes on just before engine failure but coincides with all lights turning on.
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