Driving a vehicle with a brake problem is not only unsettling, it’s outright dangerous. Half of driving is governed by our ability to stop when needed and if you can’t you’re endangering the lives of others around you, as well as your own life and that of your passengers. Hence, when your brakes begin to show sign of deteriorating, you should give them attention.
“But what does it mean when my brakes…?”
If your question begins similar to the one above, keep reading. We’ll briefly consider 5 of the top brake issues that drivers encounter and what can be done to fix it.
Brakes Squealing, Screeching, Humming, etc.
Brake noise of any kind is an alarm that something is going wrong with your braking system. Brake pads are the easiest and least problematic noises that comes from the braking system. A simple change of the pad will solve the problem. Nevertheless, if the noise isn’t pad related you’ll have to do some work. Some issues and solutions are:
- General rust & corrosion: Perform a basic inspection of your braking system. Clean the caliper and retaining components of caked up dust and grim. Lubricate and replace worn parts.
- Check and adjust your rear calipers (or drums). Clean these as needed and looks for problems such as grooves or improper wear. Replace parts if uneven wear exists or there is significant corrosion that cannot be removed with a strong wire brush.
If your brakes have a heartbeat-like pulsing sensation when applied, usually there is a problem with the rotor. However, note that wheel hubs can be the real culprit of the pulsation. A good test to verify that there is a problem with the rotor is a thickness variation test. Make sure that the rotor is even throughout.
Wheel hubs should be completely checked if there is no problem with the rotor. Rust and debris in the mounting pad can cause pulsation and distort the rotor. Also, beware that uneven wheel lugs can give the symptom of a pulsing brake. Seat the wheel properly and use a torque wrench to set the lugs to spec.
See Part 2 of this series for the next 3 problems and solutions.
Are you having problems with your brakes? Give us a call at (858) 925-5359 or stop by our shop. We’ll give you an honest mechanic’s opinion.