How to Properly Diagnose a Brake Problem

As any thinking adult knows, automobile brake problems are among the most important of factors to be considered when you are driving a car. Once an accident has occurred because of faulty brakes it is too late to begin looking for brake defects that might have caused the accident. The best time to look for potential brake problems is when you first detect signs of a possible problem, such as those described below. But to do this you will need to know what telltale signs to look for. Use the steps below to identify brake problems before they can create safety hazards.

Step 1 – Brake Noises

When you hear a noise from your car as you apply your brakes, such as scraping, grinding, or any other noise that is abnormal, you should immediately check your brakes for worn shoes or pads. Linings contaminated with break fluid  can also make a noise that can be identified as a potential problem, as well as loose brake components or lack of proper lubrication. You should immediately investigate any of these noises.

Step 2 – Investigate a Need for Using Excessive Brake Pressure

Recognize immediately any need for excessive brake pressure. This could be caused by a defective brake booster, brake fluid, water on your car's brake linings or a possible defect in one of your brake system parts. At times, such as with water on your brake linings, this problem may be temporary. But if the problem persists, be sure to have your brakes checked and have all defects repaired.

Step 3 – Identify and Check Out Brake Drag

If, after stopping, then starting forward again in your car you notice that the brakes are not releasing the instant you release your brake pedal, this could be an indication of a brake Problem. A cylinder piston may be stuck, a defective master cylinder, brake pad, or even a parking break may have failed to release. This is a serious cause for you to check your brake system.

Step 4 – Excessive Brake Pedal Movement

Check your brake shoes or failing pressure check valve if, when you step on your brake pedal, it depresses more than 3 or 4 inches toward the floor before the brakes begin to activate and your car begins slowing. It is also possible that your brake shoes are not properly adjusted.

Step 5 – Check Vibration in your Steering Wheel or Brake Pedal

Vibration from your brake pedal or steering wheel when you depress your brake pedal may be an indication of a brake disc or drum that is warped. When you feel this vibration you should immediately examine your brake system or take your car to an auto service shop where they can check and repair any defect in your braking system.

Step 6 – Absence of Brake Pedal Pressure

Investigate possible defects in your brake's caliper piston, wheel cylinder, a break or clog in your brake fluid hose, a defect in the brake booster, or contaminated pads or shoes when your pedal sinks almost to the floorboards when applied. These are all symptoms of possible brake defects or failure and should be checked right away.