Which Brake Problems Can You Get?

21 August 2015, 06:55

Sadly, there are many different things which can go wrong with our cars, and brakes are no exception.

As the brakes are located under the car, close to the wheels, they are much more exposed to the elements than other vital parts of the car. Especially in the winter months, when the roads are much wetter, the brakes are very susceptible to things being damaged by fluid or bits of trapped dirt. If you do notice a problem with your brakes and decide to take the car into a workshop to get it fixed, try to describe the problem as accurately as you can to the mechanic as this will make the process of making repairs much easier.

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Many things could make the brakes fail

Worn brake pads

If your brake pads have worn too thin then the brakes may not react as strongly when you touch the brake pedal. If your brakes start to squeal and screech as you use them, even if you are not braking particularly hard, then the likelihood is that you need to replace your brake pads. You can either do this yourself or take your car into a workshop to get a professional to do it for you.

Low level of brake fluid

The brakes can also be affected if you do not have enough brake fluid in the master cylinder. If the pedal goes all the way to the floor when you press it, but doesn’t do much to slow the car down, then it could be that the brake fluid level has dropped too low. This is an extremely easy problem to fix. All you need to do is take the cover off the master cylinder and top up the brake fluid. Be careful not to let anything else into the cylinder when you do this so as not to contaminate the fluid.

Brake fluid contamination

Another common problem which can affect your brakes is the contamination of the brake fluid. If water or dust particles get into the brake fluid in your car then it can make the brakes fail as it changes the fluid’s ability to withstand high pressure. If you ever change your brake fluid yourself, or ever check the fluid levels, make sure that you replace the lid on the master cylinder reservoir carefully and tightly so no foreign particles can get in. Water is especially dangerous in brake fluid as it can freeze inside the brake lines, causing them to expand and rupture.

Rusted brake disc

As the brake disc is made of metal it is particularly susceptible if water regularly sits on it then it could start to rust. This could cause them to get jammed or damaged. If you find that your brakes are grabbing or pulling to one side when you use them, this could mean that one of your brake discs is damaged. You will be able to see easily if the disc is damaged if you remove the wheel and take a look. If you spot a problem and are comfortable changing the brake disc yourself then you should replace it before you drive again. If not, take your car into a workshop and get a mechanic to replace it for you.

Mud on the calliper

If you drive through wet mud then there is a danger that the mud will stick to the calliper. This could have a serious impact on your vehicle’s braking system as it will reduce the distance between the calliper and the brake pad. This will make it feel like the car is braking all of the time and you will have very little control over your speed. You may also find that this puts extra pressure on the pads and that they are ruined by overheating and overuse. If you do drive through a muddy puddle, then you should test your brakes as soon as you come out the other side. This could dislodge the mud whilst it is still in liquid form and could prevent solid lumps of mud ruining the brake pads on your car.

Damaged brake booster

The brake booster creates a vacuum within the braking system which pressurises the brake pedal and allows you to exert a huge amount of force with very little effort. If there is a problem with the vacuum, or the vacuum has been broken somewhere, then you will not have the same braking power. In order to fix this problem you will have to take your car to a workshop for a mechanic to locate and repair the leak.

Brake line obstruction

If something gets caught in the brake fluid it could block the lines and stop the brake fluid from flowing to where it needs to be. This is why it is extremely important to ensure that no foreign objects are allowed to enter the brake fluid and why you should always replace the cover on the master cylinder reservoir as soon as you have finished topping up your brake fluid.

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How much does a brake repair cost?

As you can read above, many things can affect your brakes and hereby affect what needs to be fixed and also the price. Therefore it is difficult given you an exact price for a brake repair, but we recommend that you get your quotes here on Autobutler, so that you can easily compare them at home. Here you can see the location of the garages, how they describe the job you requested, how other car owners have rated the garages and of course the different prices.

Overall, car-owners that compare prices on brake jobs on Autobutler, can potentially save 22 percent in average, which equals to 68 pounds.

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