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Five Common Brake Problems in Cars

Updated on January 11, 2017
eddiecarrara profile image

33 years in the automotive business, Honda, ASE certified master technician. Willing to spill my guts about everything I have learned.

Five Most Common Brake Problems

Brake problems can be daunting if you don't know what's causing them. Fear of the unknown causes anxiety. You have questions like: Will my brakes fail? Are they safe? Can I drive my car? Should I drive my car?

Here are five of the most common brake problems I run into, starting with the most serious. It's good to understand what the cause of your problem might be, before a mechanic starts talking about the need to replace this or that. If you don’t find your issue here, look also at my article on brake noises, look through the comments at the end, or leave a comment yourself telling your story.

  1. Soft brake pedal
  2. Car pulls to one side
  3. Steering wheel shakes when brakes are applied
  4. Brake pedal pulses up and down
  5. Whole car shakes when brakes are applied

Parts of the Brake System

In case these terms are new to you, real quick, I'll tell you that to stop the car, the master cylinder sends out fluid through tubes under pressure to drive a pincher (a “caliper”) that presses a “pad” or “shoe” against a metal disc (“rotor”) or drum. Most modern brakes have rotors; older ones have drums, especially in the rear.

1. Soft Brake Pedal

A soft brake pedal is a MAJOR brake issue. If your brake pedal feels squishy, "like stepping on a plum," and won't stop on the way down unless you pump it, or the brake pedal sinks to the floor with little or no resistance, you have a dangerous situation and should NOT drive any further! If you do, it could be a matter of minutes until you smash into something.

When the brake pedal gets soft or sinks to the floor, it's generally due to a leak in the braking system, most commonly the master cylinder leaking internally or externally.

The first thing you should do is check your brake fluid--look in your owner's manual to see how.

Brake fluid reservoir.  if your brake pedal is soft; first check the fluid level to determine if you have a leak in the braking system.
Brake fluid reservoir. if your brake pedal is soft; first check the fluid level to determine if you have a leak in the braking system. | Source

A master cylinder may fail in two ways: internally or externally. If the brake fluid reservoir is full and there are no signs of leaks, the problem is usually an internal problem that you can’t identify just by looking at the master cylinder. Don't drive the car in any case; there is something wrong with your brakes if the pedal is soft.

It's worth grabbing a flashlight and looking to see whether the master cylinder is leaking visibly. If it is, you should be able see the fluid on the carpet under your dash, just over your brake pedal. The pictures below show the master cylinder under the brake pedal.

Location of the Master Cylinder

The master cylinder, where it attaches to the brake pedal. If the master cylinder is leaking externally, you will see fluid dripping from the place where the rod goes into the cylinder.
The master cylinder, where it attaches to the brake pedal. If the master cylinder is leaking externally, you will see fluid dripping from the place where the rod goes into the cylinder. | Source
A better idea of where the master cylinder is located in relation to the brake pedal.
A better idea of where the master cylinder is located in relation to the brake pedal. | Source

The only fix I recommend for a faulty master cylinder is to replace it with a new one. You shouldn't waste your valuable time trying to rebuild it. It's a vital component in your car; leave it to the pros. You wouldn’t pack your own parachute on your first jump, would you?

2. Car Pulls to One Side When Braking

A car that pulls to one side can be annoying and also dangerous. This braking problem can caused by several different things, even the tires (see below), but the most common cause is a frozen caliper. Over time, a caliper can freeze up gradually, a process that can go unnoticed for a long period of time.

One way a caliper can freeze up is by the piston on the caliper being stuck in its bore. If the dust boot that protects the piston from the elements gets torn, water and debris will penetrate the metal in the caliper and cause rust and corrosion. If the piston is stuck, and the fluid pressure can't push it back into the bore easily, the pressure on the pads will be uneven and the car will pull. To fix this problem you will need to replace the caliper.

Another possibility is that the pistons got bent, during a brake job or a car accident, and can't move freely any more, causing the caliper to bind and limiting the amount of pressure to the pads.

The caliper can also freeze up if the caliper slide pins have lost lubrication because they have not been maintained properly. If the slide pins are your problem, they need to be cleaned and lubricated or replaced. You can buy an overhaul kit for calipers, but they are hard to find and your caliper may not be worth bringing back to life. Buying a new caliper may cost more but you will make up the cost with the time you save. Been there, done that!

The Caliper

Caliper slide pins need to move freely
Caliper slide pins need to move freely | Source
The caliper piston needs to move back into its bore with no binding.
The caliper piston needs to move back into its bore with no binding. | Source

Other Causes of a Pull to One Side When Braking

A faulty proportioning valve or master cylinder could also cause a pull to one side when braking; this is unusual but it does happen. Most braking systems work on a diagonal braking design for safety reasons; that is, the left front and right rear brakes work together and so do the right front and left rear. That way, if there is a leak in one part of the system, it should only affect one front brake and one rear brake. If this is what is going on, you need to identify and replace the faulty part.

A pull when braking may also have nothing to do with brakes. Bad front tires, or broken belts in a front tire, could cause it. Any pull caused by unevenly worn tires will be amplified when you step on the brakes. The tires' contact surfaces expand when you brake, thus putting more pressure on the bad tire and causing the pull to worsen. Replacing your tires will fix this, or you could try rotating your front tires to the rear of the vehicle.

3. Steering Wheel Shakes When Brakes Are Applied

This is a very common brake issue on all makes and models: when you’re driving at highway speeds and you apply your brakes, the steering wheel shakes.

There are many possible causes of this shaking, including the front rotors being warped, hot spots (slight irregularities) on your rotors caused by excessive heat, or pad impressions. If your car sits for long periods without moving, moisture from rain or high humidity causes your rotors to rust, except for the patch of rotor surface where the pads rest. This patch of uneven rotor surface is called a pad impression and will cause the brakes to pulsate.

This brake pulsation can be fixed very easily by having your rotors resurfaced (which is cheaper) or replaced (more expensive). You can resurface the rotors if they are still thick enough. Every rotor has a "minimum spec" for thickness, usually stamped on the rotor near the hub where the lug nuts are. The rotor needs to be measured at the thinnest point with a micrometer or vernier caliper to determine whether it can be resurfaced or not.

Steering Wheel Vibration When Braking

An intermittent noise when braking lightly, as in the video below, could also be related to an uneven surface on the rotors.

4. Brake Pedal Pulses Up and Down When Applying Brakes

If every time you apply your brakes, your brake pedal pulses up and down, the problem is usually caused by the rotors being warped or out of true. As rotors age, they go through the heating and cooling process thousands of times, so it's inevitable for them to lose their shape or trueness. If you do a lot of highway driving and you happen to be hard on your brakes, you will probably run into this problem many times in the life of your car.

The fix for this brake problem is simple: resurfacing the rotors, if they are still thick enough (see section 3 above), or replacing them if they are not. If you do either of these processes, and your brake pads are more than half worn, it’s worth it to just replace the pads at the same time for the peace of mind it will give you; pads wear out frequently (they are a consumable item) and you might as well deal with them while in the neighborhood.

EBC Brakes DP6993 6000 Series Greenstuff Truck and SUV Brake Pad
EBC Brakes DP6993 6000 Series Greenstuff Truck and SUV Brake Pad

EBC makes quality brake pads that don't make much noise.

 

A Scraping Noise After a Brake Job May Be Easy to Fix

5. Whole Car Shakes When Brakes Are Applied

If your whole car shakes when your brakes are applied, it could be just your rear brakes. As a rule of thumb, shaking caused by a problem in the front end of the car will be felt in the steering wheel, while shaking in the rear will seem to affect the whole car.

To determine if your rear brakes are the problem, you need to test them in isolation. One way to test your rear drum brakes is to apply the parking brake slightly while driving, because the parking brake uses the drum brakes in the rear. You can do this test if your emergency brake handle is near the center console and it is the style that you pull up with your hand. Note: I don’t recommend pulling up on the emergency brake handle at high speeds, it can cause your rear brakes to lock up and send the vehicle into a spin causing death or serious injury!

To do this test, drive your car in a remote location with no traffic at a speed of about 30 miles an hour. Push and hold the release button on the end of the emergency brake handle; this is so the emergency brake does not lock into place and can be released easily. Meanwhile, pull up on the handle just enough to feel the rear brakes grab slightly. If your rear drums are the cause of the brake pulsation, you will feel the pulsation at this time, and the car will shake when the emergency brake is applied.

If this is your problem, then the fix is to resurface the rear drums or replace them. Again, you will have to measure the drums to determine if they can be resurfaced or not.

If you have rear disc brakes, this procedure may not work because some makes and models have a separate emergency brake, which is connected not to the rear rotor and caliper, but to a special drum inside the rear rotors with a separate braking system. If you have this type of rear braking system, it is almost impossible to isolate the rear brakes.

Closing Thoughts

Hopefully this information will help you (and your mechanic) decide where to start when fixing your problem. When you are in a crisis situation like a brake problem, some mechanics will take advantage of the customer and over-sell the work that really needs to be done. There are only about nine evil mechanics in the world, they just move around a lot!

If you found this information useful, why not share it, for example on Facebook or Twitter using the "Like" or "Tweet" buttons at the top of the page. Thank you for all your help :)

More on Brakes by Eddie Carrara

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    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sandra,

      Did you use Honda genuine brake pads?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Davida,

      It's possible you have a defective caliper and it's not releasing. Did you have this issue before the calipers were replaced? If not, then most likely is a defective caliper, if this is the reason you replaced the calipers, then you'll need to find the blockage in the braking system. Let me know what you find, thanks.

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      sandra 11 days ago

      I have. A crv Honda my brakes on the drive side making noise I've. Changed brakes

    • profile image

      Davida 2 weeks ago

      I have a 2004 Pontiac grand am and we changed the breaks and calipers and the breaks are getting hot to the touch but also the car is kinda grabbing when u come to a complete stop and then try to drive off it jerks a couple times before it realeases I don't know what's wrong with it

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jayme,

      It sounds like you may be experiencing brake fade because the fluid is getting too hot. do you smell anything hot when you walk around the car that would indicate a sticking caliper? If not, your brake master cylinder may have an internal leak causing the issue. If you sit in the vehicle with the engine running and just apply light brake pressure to the brake pedal, notice if it starts to sink to the floor slowly, if it does, the master cylinder is no good. Let me know what you find out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Jayme 2 weeks ago

      I have a 1995 Volvo 950, I drive it for about 30minutes with no problems, and then I have to start pushing the break almost all the way down to stop. Ill get to where I need to go being super careful, let the car sit, get back in to drive and same thing, around 30minutes the breaks go soft. I checked the break fluid level and its fine. Any thoughts?

    • profile image

      TJ 3 weeks ago

      What is happening when the brakes on my car make a 'hissing' sound or like air is releasing. Most noted at speeds of 60km/hr or greater

    • profile image

      Martina 6 weeks ago

      I have a 1995 Nissan pickup truck 2 wheel drive 2.4 4 cylinder automatic my brake lights don't work

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      sam warren 7 weeks ago

      I have a 1951 chevy truck when I put the brakes on truck jumps to the left bad what causes this

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Frustrated in Florida,

      Do you drive with 2 feet? Be honest...If not, it's possible your brake light switch at the brake pedal is out of adjustment, it's a long shot, but you basically have replaced everything in the system. Let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Frustrated GMC Envoy owner 2 months ago

      HI have a question for you. I own a 2005 GMC Envoy and I have had nothing but brake problems for the past year-and-a-half. My brakes have been completely redone by my technician, including the wheel bearings, both front and rear, the power steering/ power brake pump, the master cylinder, the pads, the rotors, the drums, the calipers, caliper brackets and also the brake lines have all been replaced and yet every 6 months my brakes go out because something is keeping my brakes constantly engaged, thereby wearing out my brakes prematurely.

      As you can see from this extensive list pretty much everything that we can think of has already been replaced. Any suggestions that you have would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you for all of your help!

      Frustrated in Florida

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Is it possible to buy Dodge OEM brakes online?

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      Hussnain3232 2 months ago

      YES.. i had this Problem before changing the brake pads, that was my only cause to change the Brake Pad.

      Now some idiotic sound has started coming from brakes. like.. cheeeeeen , GRRRH. i am really fed up. and doesnt have any dodge authorized dealer near my Place.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hey Cowboy,

      It's possible you have a sticking caliper. Are both front wheels heating up? Are the rotors turning a dark blue?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hussnain,

      Did you have this trouble before the brakes were replaced? The brakes should stop the vehicle the same each time with no regard to how many people are in the vehicle.

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      fun cowboy 3 months ago

      I recently changed my front rotors and pads on a 2000 F150. Now, the rims seems to be heating up, especially in stop and go traffic. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      Pdc 3 months ago

      Just feels like my front brakes are working. Checked under brake pedal no leaks or any where else. 2000 Dodge 2500 v10 8 cylinder. Brake pedal is soft but does not go to floor. Brake reservoir is full no signs of leaks

    • profile image

      Hussnain3232 3 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      I own a Dodge Charger 2014 3.6 V6.

      when i drive alone my car brakes works just fine , but when my car is full of passengers the brakes work less means i have to push more and then car slips.Please tell me is it normal or is there something wrong.

      I just replaced my all Brake Pads with polishing the Disc's also.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Noufel5,

      What do you mean is slips? Is the vehicle skipping across the road? iIf so, have the shocks/struts checked for leaks.

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      Noufel5 3 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have Toyota Prado, when I break its slipping especially in rough roads. Please advice.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Heather,

      Does the engine run rough or do the RPM's change when this happens? Let me know, thanks.

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      heather 4 months ago

      Hi,

      I have a 2011 Escape. When I start the vehicle and back out of the driveway (or a parking spot, etc), maybe 2 or 3 times out of ten my brake pedal goes hard and no matter how hard I push it, all I do is sort of coast to an eventual stop. I feel the pedal go hard when I put the vehicle into reverse. The mechanic I took it to replaced the front brakes, but that hasn't done anything to help this. Do you know what this might be? Will it remain only when the vehicle is in reverse, or is this something that could happen while I am driving forward as well?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Wayne,

      It sounds like you have air in the lines and the brake pedal is going to the floor. You'll need to bleed the brakes more to get the air out of the lines. It's very difficult to bleed the brakes on some GM vehicles and you may need to bring it to a garage to have them bleed. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Sorry Jackie,

      There are several causes for this issue.

      1. The caliper slide pins are frozen and the pads are not releasing after coming to a stop.

      2. There is a blockage in the line and the pads are not releasing after coming to a stop.

      3. The caliper piston is frozen and the pads are not releasing after coming to a stop.

      4. The master cylinder has a problem.

      You'll need to have a mechanic who really understands brakes and what to look for. Let me know what they find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Morris,

      I'm not really sure what you mean by jacked up? Like on a lift or with a lift kit installed in the suspension? It shouldn't leak either way, unless you disturbed a line.

    • profile image

      Wayne 4 months ago

      I replaced the rear pads and the left rear caliper on my wife's 03 gmc envoy and now the rear brakes don't work.what could cause them to stop working after I replaced the pads and caliper?any advice would be helpful thanks

    • profile image

      Jackie 4 months ago

      Not helpful at all.I need to know why my 1996 Honda accord has a brake problem.put new brakes on.last about a year.my drivers side shows hardly any wear the passenger side completely worn out why.no other signs of a problem

    • profile image

      Morris 4 months ago

      If my truck is Jack up to high on the left side could I get a brake leak on the right side

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tash,

      Check inside the vehicle above your brake pedal. You'll see the rod going from your brake pedal to the master cyl, you may also find the carpet wet and the rod dripping. If you don't find any leaks there, it may be leaking into the brake booster. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Tash 4 months ago

      I've gone through three bottles of brake fluid in two weeks, but I don't ever see any signs of a leak on the ground. Where (or what) should I check to see what the problem may be?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Chelsae,

      I know I'm a day late and a dollar short with my reply, but here goes. The pop sounds like your cooling system let go, like a hose or a cap, the clue is the white smoke (I think) did you have it looked at yet? do you still have questions?

    • profile image

      Chelsae 5 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      This morning I had to make a quick run to Walmart for diapers, all before my husband left town for work for the weekend. All was fine on the way in, but when I went to leave the parking lot, after about 3 or 4 seconds Of driving down the isle of the lot, I suddenly heard a loud pop or snapping noise, like I had run over a glass bottle at 60 mph type of blow up. In shock I proceeded another 2 secs of which there was a continuous "knock" as well as a grinding type noise, definitely located in the vacinity of the left drivers side tire. The grinding and knocking seemed much more intense as I turned my wheel to the left to pull into a parking space to investigate what I thought for sure was something hanging down from underneath my car. Nothing, I didn't see anything? So I got back in, turned on my hazards in a last fleeting attempt to gently coast my way through town, and back home.

      Here I am coasting down the side of the road at less than 5 mph praying I can ease big bertha ( my van) along, and somehow make it the 5 mile stretch home. I start to smell burning,this is followed by a fairly large amount of white smoke. I stop, clearly I won't be going anywhere. As I ponder my next move ( my cell phone is dead as usual, and I know I'm going to get an earful from my husband for "letting it die while I'm out, he doesn't know where, or if I'm "O.K"). Suddenly a loud POP!, And I've just sunk to the ground.

      What happened? It's a 2002 ford windstar ( I think SE) about 98,000 miles. My husband was in an accident with it about 3 years ago and from what the mechanic said is the tyrod ( sorry spelling) was bent, not just a little almost in half, I'm not sure if this is pertinent information or not so, just incase. I just had it towed ( and dummy me didn't leave keys) cost me an arm and a leg, they drove across town (past my car) to my house to pick up the keys, and then back to get big bertha to the doctor. I'm waiting now to hear from the mechanic, however I'm giving myself a panic attack over not knowing what's wrong, not being able to google my situation in a fashion that will render a response even remotely similar to my current situation. Not to mention the angst over the question of weather I need to auction off my first born to foot the bill? ( lol kidding, but not kidding, I'm freaking out !) please!, if you will kindly offer to me, any thoughts as to what happened to Bertha, and/or what something of this nature could potentially cost me? I would be so grateful!

      Sincerely

      Chelsae E.W

      & Big Bertha

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lori,

      Sounds like you may have either air in the system or a brake fluid leak. Has this always been a problem? Has this issue every been fixed with the parts you've replaced? Let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Lori 5 months ago

      I have a chevy equinox that I have changed the master cylinder, power booster and shocks breaks twice. Anyways, when I step on the breaks it feels like something is blocking it, although it still starts to stop the car, I usually have to lift up on the break and re-apply for it to break normally. My ABS and tractsion light is alway coming on and off at random times. Any ideas with this situation?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      OK, what is your question? I'm not sure what you're asking.

    • profile image

      Ok 5 months ago

      Put new cakipers pads rotors and brake hoses can not stop brake fluid to stop when bleeding 2002 mustang

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Huy,

      Do you hear the ABS pump run when you feel this happen? Does the brake pedal kick back on your foot?

    • profile image

      Huy 5 months ago

      I have a 2004 Infinity G 35 when going 45 wanting to slow down I hit my brakes and it grips but then it feels like it lets go for a second while making grinding noises and then goes back to normal and brakes normal all the way to stop. It only occurs when first innitual attempt to stop is when that happens ? Thank u for ur time if anyone knows ? I've been told the front abs sensor or speed sensor could that be it ?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Me,

      Did you clean the calipers, lube the slide pins and make sure everything moved freely? Tell me you didn't hammer the pads back into the calipers because the fit tight? Every moving part should be cleaned and lubed. Let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Me 6 months ago

      I just changed brakes and rotors on the rear of my pontiac montana van and now when you let off the gas peddle it stops without putting your foot on the brake... help, what is wrong didn't do anything other than change them rear parts!!!! UGHHH...

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Thomas,

      If you bought OEM Honda Brake rotors and pads and had the Honda dealer install them, there is a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty, and they can either resurface the rotor or replace them at no cost to you. I have never heard of the rotors being undersized for the Odyssey and if that were true, Honda would have issued a service bulletin to repair the issue. Hope this helps.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hello there (this guy has too much time)

      This article is evergreen and will be relevant for years to come. I really don't have too much time, in fact my time is very limited, but I make time to help people with their question because I know they appreciate it, and it's rare to find anyone on line that will go out of there way to help a total stranger with a problem. I have been in tough situations in my life and total strangers went out of their way to help me, so I guess in a way, I'm paying it forward :)

    • profile image

      Thomas 6 months ago

      My wife has a Honda Odyssey that suffers from the shaking steering wheel while braking. I replace the pads and rotors because I though the issue was warped rotors. Then the problem returned in about 6 months. I read that the model may have undersized rotors. Is there a better solution than premature replacement of rotors and pads?

    • profile image

      This guy has to much free time 6 months ago

      This article is 4 years old and the author still responds... at least the info is still relevant

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Becca,

      Yes, makes sense to me. I recommend getting a second opinion because it sounds like there is too much brake pedal travel. The problem could be many different things, master cylinder, caliper pins sticking, frozen piston in the caliper, etc... so have someone else give you their opinion and keep me posted, thanks.

    • profile image

      Becca 6 months ago

      This only happens sometimes but I have to press farther down on my breaks to get a stop. I just took into shop and tried to explain it and they said it was my break pads, replaced them and said it should fix it but it hasn't. My breaks don't squeak, it just feels like sometimes my car isn't going to stop, you have to push farther into the break to get a stop. Make sense?!

    • profile image

      Larry 6 months ago

      Thanks for the reply. More than a few hundred. I am now getting pulsation. I may have someone look at them.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gabriela,

      They probably used cheap brake pads. If you want the noise to stop, I highly recommend using Genuine Mitsubishi brake pads.

    • Gabriela Medina profile image

      Gabriela Medina 6 months ago

      Hello , I own a Mitsubishi Lancer 2010 I have replaced my brake pads last year In September and again in January. My car keeps making a loud noise like screeching whenever I brake I don't even brake hard and it does it. I did notice the rotors look rusty but at pep boys they said it was the brake pads and that's all but why do I continue to hear this loud noise very agitating.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ricky,

      If the problem wasn't there before replacing the axle, then I'm assuming it has something to do with the repair or the part installed. You'll need to remove the axle and see what is binding. Do you hear the ABS pump kick on when this happens?

    • profile image

      Ricky 7 months ago

      I have a problem jist replaced my cv axle and everything went good on a 1999 mitsubishi 3000 gt so when I pulled out from the drive way everything went good until I hit the clutch. When I pressed the clutch it automatically breaks and when I put it on neutral I can't push it... can it be a bad caliper to engage the break pads to break??

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amir,

      Unless your mechanic took the time to remove each caliper and inspect the movement of every piston and every slid pin, they are dong you a disservice. Just looking at brake pad thickness really tells you that your brake pads are OK, that's it! I recommend having someone do a through inspection of all calipers. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Amir 7 months ago

      Hi. Nice post. However my issue is that these days I feel like I have to press the brake pedal too much inside for the car to stop completely. It wasn't like this before. I got it checked at the showroom and they changed the fluid and said brake pads are ok dont need replacement. Still this problem is there. What could be the possible issue?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Michelle,

      Yes, you are correct! You'll need to bring it back ASAP and have them bleed the brakes correctly, also have them road test the vehicle after the repair to verify the repair so you don't have to come back a 3rd time or get into an accident because your brakes are not working properly. Keep me posted on what happens Michelle, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Larry,

      Some times it takes a few hundred miles to wear-in brakes and have the new noises subside. How many miles are on the new brakes?

    • profile image

      Michelle 7 months ago

      I just had my brake pads replaced and no problems. Well went in for oil change next day and they said I had a leak in my brake line. Well they replaced the brake line and now the brake has little resistance and i have to pump the brakes to build it up and it will pull to left I found out when i stepped on the brake suddenly. Is there an air bubble in the line and did they not bleed it correctly?

    • profile image

      Larry 7 months ago

      I replaced my rotors and pads both front and back. Sometimes I apply the brakes hard and it make a rubbing sound like it does not want to stop but it does. Something like oil on the rotors type of noise?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi David,

      I think what happened is someone while working on your vehicle used a (example) left caliper on the right side of the vehicle or vice versa. When this happens the bleeder screw is on the bottom of the caliper making it almost impossible to remove all air from the system, this also poses a problem when hooking up the brake line (which I have no idea how they did it without rerouting it??? Thanks for the update, man made problems are some of the most difficult problems to solve because man hates to admit he make mistakes. Glad you got it figured out David, take care.

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      David Conner 7 months ago

      Thank you for your response I really don't know what the final outcome was the dealer was evasive with me and told me that they were cleaning up somebody else's problem and that it was a reversed caliper or calipers when I call them and ask them what the final outcome was the guy actually told me I really don't want to tell you so I was quite surprised but when I went and picked up the vehicle that's when he told me about reverse calipers I don't know enough about cars to even know if that's possible

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dave,

      It's unusual for an ABS module to cause an issue with the conventional brakes, it's also unusual for the dealership not having a mechanic who can figure out a soft brake pedal issue. There are several reasons for a soft brake pedal, for instance frozen caliper pistons, frozen caliper slide pins, a maser cylinder pushrod out of adjustment, air in the system. One way to eliminate a caliper issue is to clamp off all calipers at the rubber line and see if the brake pedal feels normal, if the brake pedal feels normal, then you know it's one of the calipers, if not, then the problem is somewhere upstream. Hope this helps, keep me posted on what you find,I'm very curious, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Madpuppy,

      I recommend having the vacuum line going to the the brake boooster checked for cracks or leaks. Does the engine run rough or change idle speed when this happens? Let me know, thanks.

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      Davedbugman 7 months ago

      I have a 2010 Chevy Colorado, work truck model. I took it to a mechanic, who diagnosed that I needed a new front right rotor and pad. He also indicated my master cylinder needed to be replaced. The pedal was pretty low when braking, so I told him to proceed with the work. When he was done, he told me, I had no brakes, he felt the ABS pressure module was bad, I asked him if he bled the lines correctly and he told me he had bled them many times and the brake pedal still went to the floor. He would not let me take truck like that. Ok, so we could not find the ABS module anywhere local, so I ordered a new one from GM parts direct. It took two days to come and when it did my mechanic changed it out. He called me later that the brakes were still bad and that the pedal went to the floor and he felt the new module was bad. At this point I have not had my work truck for a little over a week. I need it badly, so I told him I was going to have the truck towed to the dealer so they could pressure bleed the system on their computer. They have now had the truck themselves for 5 days. They changed my new master cylinder with a new one, have bled the system with their computer and they now too are looking at the ABS module. I have not heard from them yet, but I am willing to bet they struck out on it. I still think they have a pocket of air somewhere, they insist not. So I have a truck that is not repairable? Help!

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      madpuppy 7 months ago

      Any idea what would cause a 2012 land rover evoque to have the brakes do the opposite of feeling "squishy"? I have an intermittent problem.. happens constantly in slow traffic.. where my brakes seemingly stick and the car just glides forward to a slow stop. The brakes are hard to push down and feel "stuck" in a spot while the car VERY slowly comes to a stop... ie gliding basically.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tobi,

      Have you checked the brake fluid level yet? I would start there, if the fluid level is ok, have the front calipers inspected for frozen slide pins and or frozen pistons. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Emily,

      Do you hear any noise when this is happening? Maybe like a pump running (ABS Pump) Does the pedal kick back against your foot or is the pedal just hard to push? Let me know, thanks.

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      Emily Gomez 7 months ago

      My automatic 2000 ford focus drives fine yet every now and then it is hard to stop and I have to apply extra pressure on brake for it to stop. It feels as though it wants to keep going like its fighting or pushing the brake pedal back up. Super scary yet it doesn't happen everyday. I took the car to two different mechanics and they said it looks fine. What could it be? Please help

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      Tobi Holysh 7 months ago

      very little pedal its soft and when i have the pedal it wants to pull one way only feels like i only have rear brakes though

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      HI Tommy,

      It sounds like there is s blockage somewhere in the brake system, you just need to find out where. A blockage could be a damaged line, master cylinder, collapsed rubber lines, or frozen calipers/wheel cylinders.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Carlos,

      You'll need to install the washer. That washer is a crush/sealing washer and brake fluid will leak slowly without it. Sorry to break the bad news, but I don't want you to lose your brakes.

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      Carlos 7 months ago

      I changed the brake hose that goes to the caliper but I forgot to put one of the washer there supposed to be 2 one inside the bolt and one outside the bolt what should I do.

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      Tommy B 7 months ago

      My front brakes work just fine, but my back ones don't work at all. So we took to the mechanic and he couldn't figure out what was wrong.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Steph,

      It sounds like the master cylinder has a problem. You need to have this checked right away, it is dangerous to drive with this condition. Keep me posted on what your mechanic find, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Martin,

      It's possible your brake pads are getting low and there is not much material left, also it may be time for the caliper to be serviced, cleaned of rust, debris and lubed. Have them checked first for the amount of brake pad life left on the pads. Keep me posted, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jeanne,

      I recommend having them checked, it sounds like there may be something that broke loose and is getting jammed when you hit the brakes. Let me know what they find, thanks.

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      Jeanne 8 months ago

      I’m Having problems with my back brakes on 2008 Chevy Trail blazer sticking and releasing sometimes. It’s like something holding my speed back while driving down the road. It starts grinding like my brakes are not releasing. I throw the car up in Neutral and it seems to fix the problem until I hit my brakes again.

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      Martin 8 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      I have noticed a certain reaction on my car (Toyota Yaris 2002 vvti) when i press the break pedal i feel a grinding effect on my pedal especially when i suddenly press on the breaks after a certain speed then a delay in hault what could be the problem. Thanks

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Zunaid,

      I recommend bringing it back to the mechanic who replaced all the brakes. I believe the mechanic either did something wrong or you have a problem with the rear brake drums. Let me know if you have more questions, and keep me posted on what your mechanic finds, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amanda,

      What do you mean "brakes are loose"? Can you describe the problem in detail?

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      zunaid 8 months ago

      hi Eddie, Good Morning, I am driving a opel corsa lite which purchasedlast week, when applying brahes I have a shudder on the brake pedal and I can also feel the shudder throughout the body, the car has been fitte with new ball joints,brake pads, discs as well as the rear brakes and drums are new yet I am still having the same problem. I find it really difficult to bring my car to a halt in a hurry.please can you advise what else could be the problem.

      Thanking You.

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      Amanda 8 months ago

      Hi there.

      What is the cause if the breaks are loose and what needs to be done

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Seth,

      It sounds like you have an internal leak inside the master cylinder. I recommend checking the brake fluid level, if it's not low or empty, most likely you'll need to replace the. Master cylinder. An internal leak is just fluid moving past sealing O-rings so you don't leak fluid externally.

      Hi Joe,

      It sounds like you're describing a brake pulsation (warped rotors). You'll either have to replace the rotors or have them resurfaced to remedy the problem.

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      Seth 8 months ago

      I have a 2005 dodge caravan and a brake pedal issue. When I press on brakes slowly it goes down farther than usual but if I press it a little quicker then works fine.

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      Joseph Whitney 8 months ago

      Hi Eddie just bought a minivan Honda odyssey 2000, Runs great.. The Issue with braking is, when I apply brake it feels like its well ABS Braking not letting the wheels lock so I keep traction... but on a Large more jerking scale to slow down. when I get slowed to 10-/+ mph is then acts like normal brakes. Does not pull to right/left but steering wheel vibrates a little. any Ideas? Thanks

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Fernando,

      I'm not sure what is causing this issue, but I don't recommend driving it until you have it checked. It sounds like your brake pads is loose and is getting jammed between the rotor and caliper. Do you hear any other noise or smell anything hot when you exit the vehicle?

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      Fernando 8 months ago

      Hello Eddie,

      2005 Dodge Neon, while driving my left front wheel suddenly locks up as if I slammed the brakes without me stepping on the brakes. It felt very dangerous as I was going about 45 mph and the wheel just locked up, then when I tapped the brakes it rolled normally again. This happened repeatedly today.

      Do you have any Idea what this could be?

      Thanks

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Matt,

      Is there still fluid in the brake reservoir? If there are no leaks externally, most likely it's the master cylinder, but I can't be positive without see the vehicle.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mthoko,

      Is there any free play at the brake pedal?

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      mthoko 8 months ago

      hi Eddie i have a toyota Corrola 1995 model it have a binding problem back and front i have changed disc brake but still the problem persist, help!!

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      Matt 8 months ago

      2003 Chevy cobalt - Brakes were working perfectly fine yesterday, no normal signs of wear yet. Get into my car this morning, brakes had pressure before starting the engine, as soon as I turned the key the pedal went to the floor, almost felt like a weird popping feeling. All ive checked so far for leak is external master cylinder and I see nothing.

      What do you think? I'm guessing its the master cylinder...

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Scott :)

      I aim to please lol. I'm So glad you got it fixed quickly, that can be very dangerous.

      Let me thank you for taking the time to come back with your findings, other reader will find the information very valuable, not to mention I really appreciate your feedback. If you need me, you know where to find me :)

      Hi Belle,

      Your problem is most likely the same as Scott's above. The brake booster has a vacuum leak somewhere, either it's the hose or it's internal. Do you hear any hissing noise under the hood? Is the engine idling high or rough? These are other signs of a vacuum leak in the brake booster system. Let me know what you find, thanks.

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      Scott 8 months ago

      Hi eddie,

      You was right it was the vaccum booster line that broke, in fact out of all the mechanics that i talked to on the internet you was the only ine that was right i got it fixed thanks for the reply

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Juan,

      It sounds like your brake shoe or pad is jammed or stuck. Try backing the vehicle up to release the brakes, if that doesn't work, you'll need to remove the wheel and inspect the brakes. Keep me posted on what you find, and let me know if you have more questions.

      Hi Nadie,

      If this only happened in the snow, I would guess it was just the snow and not so great tires.

      Hi Jarrett,

      Brake pedal to the floor can be many things, Start by checking the fluid level , if it's low, find the leak. Then check all the caliper slide pins for sticking, if all pins are free and calipers are moving freely, you'll need to have a mechanic check the master cylinder. Let me know if you have more questions.

      Hi Rits,

      It's possible your brakes were wet and everything froze, it's been very cold in the norther parts of the US with lots of snow and moisture. How are they working today?

      Hi Scott,

      This sounds like you blew a vacuum line going to the brake booster or the one way check valve let go. Simply, you lost vacuum assist to the brake booster (I think) If this happens, the engine will run rough with a high idle, you'll lose brake assist (hard brake pedal). The e-brake doesn't stop your car well, it's only for emergencies. Let me know what you find out, I'm very interested about this issue, thanks.

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      Rits 8 months ago

      Hey it got cold last nite and this morning I have no brakes although they worked just fine last nite. What could my prob be?

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      Jarrett 8 months ago

      Hello Eddie,

      helping my mother-in-law with her 1995 Chevy pickup brake pedal goes to the floor however when I place the truck in park the pedal gets firm any help is greatly appreciated

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      nadie 8 months ago

      hello my car slid while turning in snow , even when i applied the breaks. is it the caliper or bad weather? -thanx

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      Juan Ramirez 8 months ago

      Hello Eddie, please help me. My 2002 explorer is having the problem that the rear wheel on the passenger side is locked, the brake is off and the tire is locked. What can I do?

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Anne,

      Just have your e-brake on and the trans in neutral.

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      Anne F G 8 months ago

      Hi Eddie. I have a manual so what should I do to test that. Thanks for you help so far

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Anne,

      It's possible your master cylinder may be leaking pressure past the seals internally. Try this and let me know your results: Have the engine running, put light pressure on the brake pedal while the transmission is in park, keep applying light pressure and notice if the pedal sinks to the floor. If the pedal sinks to the floor, the master cylinder may be your issue, especially if there are no leaks in the system. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Anne F G 8 months ago

      Hi Eddie I tried to add to my last comment but must have timed out. Also yesterday it rained and was wet under car and when I moved it I notice oil or something in the water where care had been. Dont know if it was brake fluid or not.