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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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: What are some tips for repairing an antilock brake system?

    A: Tips for repairing an antilock brake system, commonly known as ABS, include pumping the brakes several times first to release pressure, securely jacking up the vehicle, working on one wheel at a time, taking care not to soil the rotor, and bleeding the system to remove air. Gather all the required materials and tools, and wear safety gear before starting the project.
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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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  • Q: What is the minimum thickness for a disc brake pad?

    A: The minimum thickness allowed for a disc brake pad is approximately one millimeter. A brake pad's standard thickness is between 10 and 12 millimeters. Because disc brake pads and rotors are vehicle parts that will wear down, it is important to inspect and replace these items when necessary.
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  • Q: What are some tips for installing electric trailer brakes?

    A: To install electric trailer brakes, first remove the existing hub. To remove the wheel, uplift the trailer and support it. Gently pull out the grease dust cap using a screwdriver. Beneath the cap there is a large nut or a cotter pin, and above the nut there is a small metal clip.
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  • Q: What are the minimum thickness specs for a front brake rotor?

    A: Brake rotor thickness requirements vary by vehicle make, model and year, but the minimum allowable thickness is always cast on an unmachined surface, or alternate part, of the rotor. A technician must remove the wheel and use a micrometer on the rotor to measure its thickness accurately.
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  • Q: What repair companies will adjust a parking brake?

    A: Repair companies that offer parking brake adjustment services include Barnsley Tire Company and Firestone Complete Auto Care. Barnsley serves major parts of Colorado while Firestone operates widely in most U.S. states.
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  • Q: What are some brake bleeder kits at Napa Auto Parts?

    A: Some brake bleeder kits available from Napa are the Balkamp and OTC bleeder kits. Each kits offers an assortment of attachments and tools that allow them to fit onto several braking applications. The Balkamp kit, for example, features a small vacuum pump, brake fittings, tubes and a small sealed catch-can to hold all of the removed fluid.
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  • Q: What causes a bad brake booster?

    A: There are several things that can cause a bad brake booster including a bad vacuum. A brake booster needs vacuum pressure to work effectively so a lack of pressure can cause failures. Other causes of booster failure include broken springs and ruptured diaphragms.
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