|Your choice for auto repair north of the Twin Cities, located at Forest Lake, Minnesota.|
|Acts Automotive Repair|
The Auto Repair Shop You've Have Been Looking For! (763) 438-7281
Troubleshooting Car Brake Problems
Do you want some help troubleshooting car brake problems? Does your car brake & pull to the left? Do you have spongy brakes or locked brakes or smell a burning rubber smell from your wheels? What does a brake warning light mean? Is there a quick car brakes fix for you or is the problem more serious? These are some of the questions Acts Automotive Repair can help you with to determine if you need disc brake repair or general brake repair help.
Troubleshooting car brake problems
Troubleshooting car brake problems can sometimes be pretty straightforward; brake repair may not be so simple. In many cases when experiencing brake problems it's a good idea to have your vehicle towed rather than risking the drive.
It's smart to trust all major repairs to a reputable repair shop such as Acts Automotive Repair.
After all, your life literally depends on your car's brakes.
Acts Automotive Repair services vehicles from all over the Twin Cities metro area. Located in Forest Lake, our clients travel for many miles to have us service their cars with complete, reliable, trustworthy care and consideration.
Here are some sample problems, causes, and solutions for common brake problems:
ABS Brake light comes on
This indicates a problem with your antilock brake system. The onboard computer will disable the ABS system. Your brakes will still function, but without ABS. This can seriously endanger you in an emergency situation, but you can safely drive the vehicle in to Acts Automotive Repair for repair.
Brake warning light comes on
Three conditions commonly cause this problem. The first is that your emergency brake is on. Check your emergency brake.
The second is that your car is low on brake fluid. Fill the reservoir to the line with the correct brake fluid or bring you car in for fluids service.
If neither of these solutions extinguishes the light, bring your car, truck, or SUV in to Acts Automotive Repair for inspection.
The third condition that may occur is due to a leak in one side of your brake system. If your brake system has completely failed you may need to use your emergency brake to stop. Call Acts Automotive Repair at (763) 438-7281 and bring your vehicle in for immediate inspection.
When you touch the brakes the car veers sharply to the side and a wheel may lock up and skid.
This may be caused by a bad disc caliper, wheel bearing problems, loose or broken brake pads or shoes, or contamination of the brake pads or shoes.
This is a serious problem. Have your vehicle towed in to Acts Automotive Repair at 620 Lake Street North in Forest Lake for repair ASAP.
Hard brakes/brake pedal won't depress
This can be caused by several possible problems, ranging from a bad power brake booster to failed caliper components to a failed vacuum line or a pinched brake line to brake problems as simple as something wedged under the brake pedal. Inspect the floor under your brake pedal and if nothing is found, tow your vehicle to Acts Automotive Repair.
Brake pulls car to left or right when braking
This can be caused by sticking or failed brake calipers or by problems with a brake pad. If the problem is severe (see 'Locked brakes', above) have your vehicle towed in for repair. A sticking brake may also cause this problem (see 'burning smell', below).
If the pull shifts from left to right this is not a brake problem, it is likely a suspension problem.
You smell a burning rubber/chemical smell after driving
Some people describe this as smelling like burning resin. This may be due to burning brakes, although it could also be an indicator of problems with your clutch. You may also see light smoke coming from one or more wheel wells.
Another indicator here may be that your car pulls to one side or the other.
Stop your car and check that the emergency brake is off.
If you were just driving down a long steep grade let your brakes cool down before proceeding.
If neither of these conditions has occurred you may have a stuck brake. Have your vehicle towed for repair. Continued driving may warp your discs or cause complete brake failure. Even if your brake appears to free itself, have your auto technician inspect your brakes, since extensive heating may cause damage to the coatings on your brakes and may cause brake fade.
You hear a grinding noise from your wheel
This can be caused by foreign matter trapped in your brakes or it could mean that you need to have your brake rotors resurfaced or replaced. Take your vehicle in for brake service at Acts Automotive Repair.
Brake pedal pulsates or vehicle vibrates when braking
This is probably due to warped brake rotors or drums and may have been caused by overheated brakes or over-tightened lug nuts. Other causes may include wheel bearings out of alignment or rusty spots on brake rotors. If you feel the problem in both the brake pedal and the steering wheel then the problem is coming from the front wheels. Take your car in for a brake inspection at Acts Automotive Repair.
Brake pedal goes down too far, spongy brakes
This can be caused by something as minor as air in the brake system or it may be an indicator of something much more serious. This may be preceded by a 'spongy' feel to your brakes. Check your brake fluid level and fill to the marked level with the correct brake fluid for your vehicle.
If you did have low fluid you may continue to experience the problem after filling. This may be because you now need to 'bleed' your brakes or it may be due to a more serious problem. It could be caused by a leak in your brake line or your master cylinder may be failing. In any case, this can be a very serious problem and some cases could easily be fatal. Take your car in for immediate brake repair and/or servicing with Acts Automotive Repair.
Brakes barely stop the car and/or the car moves with brakes fully applied
Very similar to the brake pedal goes down too far problem. It's also possible that your brake pads/shoes may be worn out.
Follow the same procedure add fluid and take the car, truck, or SUV in for brake repair and/or service at Acts Automotive Repair.
This can be an indicator of an easy fix or it can also indicate wear and tear or something more extensive. Sometimes dust and dirt build up in the wheels. Try taking your car through an automated car wash and see if this fixes the problem.
Other problem sources could be automated brake adjusters in need of alignment, cheap brake linings, broken brake return or retaining springs, a bent backing plate, and warped brake shoes. Take your vehicle in for brake service to identify and correct the problem.
Note that a constant squeal may be due to other problems such as a failed wheel bearing. Take your vehicle in for inspection as soon as possible.
If you hear a high-pitched piercing metallic sound when going slow and not applying the brakes this is probably your brake wear sensors saying your brake pads are ¾ worn out. Take your vehicle in for disc brake repair at Acts Automotive Repair as soon as possible. Delay may cause damage to your brake rotors (a much larger expense) or even endanger lives.
Troubleshooting car brake problems
Troubleshooting car brake problems should be done carefully, cautiously, and thoroughly, since your brakes are one of the most important components of your vehicle and can save your life in both normal conditions and emergency situations.
The best method for troubleshooting any car, truck, or SUV problem is scheduled maintenance to ensure that components never proceed to the breaking point in the first place.
Schedule a vehicle inspection with Acts Automotive Repair at (763) 438-7281 and rest easy knowing that your vehicle is in the best of hands!