Brakes

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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 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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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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: 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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  • When Do You Replace Brake Pads?

    Q: When Do You Replace Brake Pads?

    A: Hearing a squealing sound coming from a wheel while driving is the most common way to tell brake pads need to be replaced. Brake pads are equipped with a wear indicator that creates a squeal when they are too thin.
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  • How Can You Get an Estimate for a Brake Job?

    Q: How Can You Get an Estimate for a Brake Job?

    A: As of 2015, the online repair cost estimation tool at RepairPal.com estimates the cost of a break job to be between $296 and $404. The cost varies depending on the model and age of the vehicle and the exact nature of the repairs to the break system.
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  • Q: What Is an Acceptable Front and Rear Brake Lining Thickness?

    A: An acceptable front or rear brake lining thickness is anywhere between the standard 12 millimeter thickness when the break pads are new and 3 millimeter thickness after they become worn. At 3 millimeters, the sensors get exposed and make contact with the disc or rotor, creating a squealing sound.
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  • What Factors Affect Brake Repair Costs?

    Q: What Factors Affect Brake Repair Costs?

    A: Factors that affect the cost of brake repairs include the make and model of the vehicle, whether or not it needs brakes or just brake pads, and whether or not the callipers, rotors or brake discs require replacement too. Whether front or back brakes require replacement may also affect the price of repairs. Costs for brake repairs vary widely among service centers, which makes it a good idea to shop around to find the best price on repairs.
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  • Q: How Do Tractor Brakes Differ From Automotive Brakes?

    A: Tractor brakes are air brakes, whereas automotive brakes are hydraulic. With hydraulic brake systems, a brake pedal is pushed, releasing fluid to expand a hose that pushes against a brake pad, causing the rotor to slow or stop. With air brakes, valves filled with air hold or release brakes via the pressure of the air.
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  • What Does a Knocking Noise Mean When I Apply the Brakes?

    Q: What Does a Knocking Noise Mean When I Apply the Brakes?

    A: A knocking sound when applying the brakes could indicate different problems, such as loose calipers, bad shock absorbers, worn constant velocity joints and failing tie rods. There are telltale signs that help identify the actual source of the problem.
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