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How to Diagnose Brake Problems

When you find yourself with brake problems, it’s a bit of a wake-up call to your system.   There is nothing like a near miss because your brakes are not doing their job to get the old heart working that bit harder. Honestly, life is quite exciting enough without adding moments like that to your day.

So you’re approaching a junction, just that bit too fast as usual, and you hit the brakes, but not much happens. Why did your car do that? After all, after you had pulled in to the side of the road to calm down, you found your brakes worked perfectly well again. That is until the next time you hit the brakes hard.

This is called brake fade, and happens because of the excessive use of the brakes, combined with the lack of maintenance of your car braking system. It is easy enough to fix, and you could even do it yourself without too many problems. What you need to do is renew your brake fluid, as easy as that.

Brake fluid should be completely renewed every two years. The fluid deteriorates over time, and slowly sucks in moisture. When you continuously brake heavily, the brake callipers heat up. The moisture in the brake fluid behind the piston actually reaches boiling point during this treatment. This steam prevents the brakes from working properly, and once the fluid is renewed, the problem goes away.

If your brake pedal has excessive movement, then your brake pads and shoes need replacing. If you are a bit lapse in replacing them, you could find yourself trying to stop your car using a brake pad with nothing on it but metal. This is not a very good material for braking purposes. The excessive movement of the piston needed to get the worn pad over to the disc can also cause the piston to pop out of its barrel. This leaves the car brakeless and leaking brake fluid all over the road.

Again, a simple remedy of regularly renewing the brake shoes and pads will solve the problem. Worn brakes will also cause the car to pull to one side or the other during braking. This can be because of excessive wear on one side, or air in the system. If you are on a road in slippy conditions when this happens, you will probably end up in a ditch.

Air in the system or low brake fluid in the reservoir will cause the pedal to travel almost to the floor before engaging the brakes. Air can get into the system either because you have allowed the brake fluid to drop too far down in the reservoir, or one of your brake pipes may be corroded and allowing air into the system through a tiny pinprick of a hole. It could also be that the seals on the brake pistons are deteriorating. All of this will be a thing of the past with just a good service to the brake system.

Your brakes deserve to be serviced and maintained regularly, and don’t forget to renew your brake fluid every two years. If you do this, they will work as well as the brakes on a new car.   It will also be a much safer car to drive, which can only be good thing to have.