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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  • 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 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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • Q: What is a Studebaker brake kit?

    A: Studebaker brake kits contain upgrades for the braking system of Studebaker vehicles. Hotrods and Brakes offers these products for front disc brake conversion for some models of Studebaker cars and pickup trucks, including Avanti, Lark and Hawk.
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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 will cause my brakes to smoke?

    A: The most common cause of smoking brakes in a car is friction. The friction can come about because the parking brake is left on, the brakes are working especially hard or because the brakes were recently replaced.
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  • What are slack adjusters on an air-brake system?

    Q: What are slack adjusters on an air-brake system?

    A: The slack adjuster is the part of an air-brake system that is used to adjust the brakes when needed. The slack adjuster is located on the air canister on the axle housing near the wheel. On vehicles with drum brakes, it is between the pushrod and the S-cam. On vehicles with disc brakes, it is between the pushrod and the power screw.
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  • Q: What are some common problems with anti-lock brakes?

    A: Some common problems with anti-lock brakes include faulty brake sensors and leaks in the brake master cylinder due to corrosion. The problems tend to develop gradually and in many cases are manufacturer-specific, says YouFixCars.com.
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  • How do you take an air brakes practice test?

    Q: How do you take an air brakes practice test?

    A: Truck drivers and other professionals who are interested in procuring a commercial driver's license (CDL) can take air brakes practice tests at websites like Trucking Truth and the Crist CDL Training Center. Both online tests are free to use and score.
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  • Q: What does "BHP" stand for in cars?

    A: In cars, "BHP" stands for brake horsepower, also called shaft or delivered horsepower. It is the actual power output of a vehicle engine before the loss in power caused by the gearbox, water pump, generator, differential and other auxiliaries.
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  • Q: What is a Tekonsha wiring diagram used for?

    A: A Tekonsha wiring diagram is a detailed visual manual on how to install a brake controller in a Tekonsha Voyager trailer. The diagram shows where the each of the controller's four wires connect to the vehicle.
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