Breaks (Brakes) are the mechanical device that inhibits motion by absorbing energy for a moving vehicle. It is used for stopping, slowing down, or preventing motion of a vehicle. Brakes work by generating hydraulic pressure when pressing the brake pedal and the pressure travels to the brake caliper at each wheel. 

*Please note many people spell brake as break, so we have included both spellings to assist in finding this information.

The *break (brake) system is one of the most important in a vehicle, as it is in control of slowing and stopping the car. If your brakes are sounding or feeling even a little bit off it is best to get them checked out straight away. It is a major safety issue if you’re having problems with your brakes. The last thing you need is to be driving and have your brakes fail on you. Your brakes are checked in a Warrant of Fitness and in a car service. Therefore make sure you’re up to date with your Warrant of Fitness and services. 


Signs your brakes are faulty

1. Break (Brake) Light On

When a break (brake) warning light comes on the dashboard it means you have a problem with your brakes. There are different warning lights for different issues and different brakes. When one of these lights comes on it is highly recommended that you get it checked out. With exception to the handbrake light, if the handbrake light is on it won’t need to be checked, it just means your handbrake is on.


2. Squealing, Squeaking or Grinding Noises

Squealing, screeching, squeaking, grinding, rubbing and any other piercing noises are indicators that your brake pads and break (brake) shoes require inspection. You should get this checked out before worn pads cause damage to other parts in the vehicle. 

If you feel a grinding feel in the pedal this could be due to some gravel or a rock caught in the caliper unit. However the grinding could be an indicator of lack of lubrication in the vehicle’s rear drum brakes. 

As soon as you start to hear any unusual sound that is related to your brakes it is best to get them inspected immediately. Noisey breaks (brakes) can lead to other damage and make your vehicle unsafe to drive.


3. Wobbling, Vibration or Scraping When Braking

Wobbling, vibration, pulsation and scraping when break can be caused by the brakes.

  • Shaking in the steering wheel when using the brakes could be the result of an uneven rotor
  • Rust on your brake discs
  • Brake caliper not releasing properly
  • Bumpy breaking (braking) can be caused by damage to your break (brake) components from improper wheel lug nut in


4. Leaking Fluid

Break fluid (brake fluid) is colourless with a consistency similar to vegetable oil. If there is fluid leaking under your car and you think it is brake fluid, your next place to look is under the hood. Look at the brake fluid reservoir to check the levels. A nearly empty tank means it is likely that it has been leaking for a while. Be sure to add fluid before driving anywhere.

Why could your car be leaking?

  • Leaking break lines (brake lines)
  • Worn break pads (brake pads) or shoes causing caliper seal failure
  • Loose bleeder valves
  • Problems in the calipers or wheel cylinders
  • Leak in master cylinder
  • Faulty ABS unit

Brake fluid is a vital part of your car’s braking system, if your vehicle is leaking fluid it should be addressed right away. 


5. Spongy or Soft Break Pedal (Brake Pedal)

If there is a noticeable difference of resistance or if it feels softer/ sinks to the mat when applying pressure to the break pedal (brake pedal), you will need to see a mechanic. This could be caused by air or moisture in the braking system or a problem with the master cylinder.


6. Car Pulling to One Side When Braking

Your vehicle pulling to one side when braking can be caused by a break hose (brake hose) gone bad or a caliper problem. The unbalanced stopping can be a result of one brake caliper applying more or all the pressure during braking. 

Other reasons why you car is pulling to one side when braking:

  • A leaking wheel cylinder
  • A brake pad or shoe that is contaminated with grease or fluid
  • A frozen caliper or wheel cylinder piston
  • A bad automatic adjuster on your rear drum brake or parking brake
  • A restricted brake hose or line
  • A brake component in need of attention

7. Bouncing Up and Down When You Stop Short

If you are finding your car rocks or bounces when braking, it will probably be your shock absorbers not your brakes. For this issue you will need to get your shock absorbers potentially replaced. 


Break (Brake) Diagnostics and Part Replacement in Hamilton

If you suspect there is an issue with your brakes, bring it in straight away. Faulty brakes can make your car very unsafe to drive. To ensure that your car is safe and that the break (brake) problems don’t escalate into a bigger problem, bring it in to Grimmer Motors today. Grimmer Motors have reliable mechanics that will be able to diagnose and fix your brakes.

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