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Green Turtle | South Africa | Automotive | Diagnosing Common Brake Problems


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Diagnosing Common Brake Problems

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 9:26 am

Brakes are one of the most popular DIY repairs. If your car is having braking problems, whether it’s weak brakes, a mushy pedal, grinding sounds, or a squealing noise, it needs to be diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. Waiting will only lead to more expensive parts wearing out and requiring replacement.

Here’s a quick review of some of the more common brake problems and troubleshooting tips you may find helpful:


Commonly caused by vibrations between the disc pads and caliper, which can be cured by resurfacing or replacing the rotors, installing new pads and pad shims, or applying brake grease or noise compound to the backs of the pads.

Car Pulls to One Side During Braking

This can be caused by a sticking brake caliper or plugged rubber brake hose. Try to determined which brakes are dragging and check for sticking caliper first. You will also notice the pads on one side of the car may be worn more than the other.

Brakes are Slack

You are applying pressure to the brakes and very little is happening. Most likely this is because the cable has not been properly tensioned. It could also be however that the cable is slipping through any fixing bolts on the caliper arm and the bolt will need to be tightened.

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Loss of Brake Pedal

This condition is usually a result of brake fluid leakage due to failure of a brake hose or a rusted metal brake line, a worn wheel cylinder or brake caliper, or a worn master cylinder. A simple "once over" of the system will reveal what's going on.

Soft Brake Pedal

When it does, it can leak brake fluidFree Reprint Articles, causing a drop in hydraulic pressure to the brakes. A soft brake pedal is the result of a loss of hydraulic pressure. You should have your vehicle seen by a mechanic immediately if your master cylinder is worn out or leaking.

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