Brakes

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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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • Q: What exactly is a brake rotor?

    A: A brake rotor, also called a brake disc, is the circular part that a car's brake pads grab onto when the brake pedal is pushed. Brake rotors help create the friction needed to stop a car's wheels from turning. They come in two varieties: drilled and slotted.
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  • Q: What is a proper way to replace a brake booster?

    A: The first step in replacing a brake booster is to gather a socket wrench, a tube nut wrench, brake fluid, a jack and its stand, and the new brake booster. Next, the car owner must steady the car by lifting it with a floor jack to remove the tires to get better access to the vehicle's brakes. He must use the jack stand to ensure the car remains steady for the rest of the procedure.
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  • Q: How does a hand brake work?

    A: A hand brake is also known as a parking brake or emergency brake. It's a secondary braking system used to keep a vehicle in a stationary position. A hand brake is usually installed as a lever situated between the front seats and is activated by pulling it up.
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  • Q: What could cause brakes to lock up?

    A: Different issues can cause brakes to lock up, including contaminated brake fluid and corroded cylinders. A bad brake hose can also cause this issue.
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  • Q: What brake systems do large trucks use?

    A: Large trucks use compressed air brake systems. It is the most preferred braking system in large trucks, buses, trailers and semi-trailers. An air brake system uses compressed air to transmit pressure from the driver's control to the service brake.
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  • Q: How do you maintain brake lines in a Ford?

    A: Maintain the brake lines in Ford vehicles with regular inspections for rust, deterioration, damage and collapsed lines. Brake lines are a commonly overlooked maintenance item, however, they are a very important element in maintaining the safety of all vehicles.
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  • Q: How can you fix squeaky brakes?

    A: Fix squeaky brakes by replacing the brake pads, sanding down and cleaning out the rotor surface, and adding lubrication to the brake pad surface and areas around the wheel attachment. In normal cases where squeaking occurs, such as dusty or humid driving conditions or sudden, hard stops, brakes don't require maintenance.
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  • Q: Are aluminum brake parts good?

    A: Compared to traditional steel brakes and brakes made of other materials, aluminum brake discs offer several advantages, such as durability, their light weight and better heat dissipation, according to Geeks On Cars. The quality of a car's brakes is crucial for the car's overall safety and performance.
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