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What Your Vehicle Brakes Can Tell You


Find Out What Your Brakes Are Telling You

If you drive, you may know that at times your brakes may make a noise, feel weird, or just make you think "uh... what was that?" Well here is some useful information on what your brakes may be telling you.

How Brakes Work

First, let's learn how brakes work. Brakes work by converting friction into stopping power.

  1. You push on the brakes.
  2. The brake fluid goes through the brake lines and pushes the brake calipers;
  3. The calipers push the brake pads or shoes onto your rotors or drums and cause them to stop spinning.

It's just like running something between your hands: if you hold it loose or not at all, it moves freely, but the more pressure you put on it, the more it slows down and eventually stops. So, that's how brakes work.


Now that you know how they work, let's talk about what happens if there is a problem with your brakes. If you have a leak of fluid in your braking system, then air gets into your brake system and causes the brakes to feel mushy, because unlike fluid, air can be compressed. It's what Bernoulli was talking about when he was saying fluid can move things by applying pressure to them because fluid doesn't lose any force. So if you have air in the system, then the brakes won't apply the same pressure your foot does.

Also, if your brake pads or shoes don't have enough material left on them, they will take longer to respond, because it takes a longer time for the pads to hit the rotor or drum. So that's what happens if there is a problem.

So now it's time to talk about what your brakes tell you when something is wrong. Here are some noises brakes make and what they usually mean.

Brake Noises

Grinding or scratching often means that all the brake material is gone and now the metal plate that holds the pad is rubbing against the rotor. This is very bad, because now you have no braking material and the two pieces of metal rubbing against each other can melt and cause your brakes to stick. After that happens, you will have to pay for new rotors or drums as well as new brake pads or shoes, because the damage to the metal rotors or drums can't be repaired. To avoid this, you should replace your brakes when the material is 3 mm thick or less on pads and 1 mm on shoes.

Loud screeching or high-pitched noises often mean your rotors are glazed. Glazing is caused by excessive braking; the rotors get too hot and scorch. You can tell this has happened because the rotors will have a dark ring or blue marks on them. To fix this, the best thing to do is create a new rotor surface by machining your rotors at a local shop. Smoothing the surface should cause the noise to go away.

To avoid this happening at all, don't go really fast and then slam on the brakes. This causes a lot of friction, which turns to heat and causes the burn on the rotor. It can also cause the rotors to warp, which can lead to vibrations.

Vibration while braking often means your rotors or drums have been warped. This is caused by heat making them lose their shape. If your rotors or drums got warped because they were too thin, they will need to be replaced. But if they warped just because they got too hot, then all that needs to be done is that they need to be resurfaced by a local shop.

If you want to know whether or not the vibration is coming from the front or back brakes, you can drive down the freeway and push the brakes until you feel the vibration. If you feel the vibration in the steering wheel, the problem is in the front, because the vibration is transferring from the front wheels through the steering linkage. If you want to check the back brakes, then apply the parking brake just slightly while driving, and see if you feel the vibration in the car in general and not just the steering wheel.

Brake Pull is when your vehicle pulls to one direction when you brake. This can be caused by your brake caliper not applying the brakes evenly on both sides. It's usually a result of a fluid leak in the caliper. To know which side it is, you'll just have to look at the brake caliper and see which one is leaking; this usually should be done by a professional. To fix this, you will have to replace the caliper and bleed the brakes of all the air in the system. There is no real cause for this besides just normal wear.

These are the most common problems with brakes besides normal wear. So next time you're driving and you hit the brakes and they start talking to you, you'll have a better idea of what the problem is.

Be sure to consult a professional before trying anything yourself because if repairs are done incorrectly, they might cause an accident which could result in injury or death.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on September 29, 2019:

Justin, it is probably a CV issue. Usually they start clicking if there are issues. Have you tried turning the wheel all the way to one side to see if you can get only one side to do it? That could help and you would have a better view of your CV boot.

Cathy/Richard If everything was installed properly then you probably have a booster or some sort of valve pushing the fluid not correctly.

Justin on September 28, 2019:

My car is making a clicking similar to a baseball card in the spokes of a bike upon acceleration. It is less noticable at highway speed (could stop but I have a loud exaust so I may not hear it) could this be a CV axle issue?

Cathy/ richard on September 26, 2019:

My front brakes were sticking,I replaced everything including brake line. Now the brakes are smoking but not sticking, could that be in my bearings? No play in tires.

Lacy Jones on May 17, 2019:

On my 2014 Acura TL the acura mechanic insisted that I DID NOT NEED NEW PADS when he charged me $280 to resurface my rotors. The pads were original & had 55,000 miles on them. Now I have 77,000 miles & just required new tires (which only had 35,000 miles on them Bridgestone Turanza), new pads, new rotors, new cv axles, new wheel bearings. I understand all these repairs were most likely not a result of Acura not replacing pads when resurfacing rotors. But isn’t is common knowledge to replace pads if you replace or resurface rotors?

ian mcintosh on January 08, 2019:

My front disk on my 80 series land cruiser are touching the calipers can anyone tell me why PLEASE.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 20, 2017:

Im sorry Robert but I don't even know where to start giving you advice. It sounds like a caliper froze up or there was an issue bleeding but I can't tel from your message what was done.

kj on January 23, 2016:

for some time now my car has been making a wah wah wah sound both when I accelerate and decelerate.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on January 12, 2015:

Homey and adebiyi. I am sorry I never saw the comment updates so if you still need info let me know.

Lulu, what type of vehicle? Front or rear? some vehicles require certain procedures in order for the caliper to go back in. Have you looked for a service manual online or youtube video?

Lulu on January 12, 2015:

how to reset or depressurized the pistol caliber for brakes, i was changing my brake pads, is not going back i even removed it still

help please

adebiyi on December 15, 2014:

When I was driving all was smooth and I parked at my workplace,on getting back in it to go home after driving about q 10mins at speed of 40km/h I found out thathe brake pad look soft and iI pressed to the last but didn't stop not until I continue pressing it like 3times it started to gain itself again and it has happened for the past 2days now but at low speed it s fine

Homey Cool on September 27, 2014:

I have a very inconsistent brake pedal on my recently purchased 2000 mercury villager sport in regards to the amount of delay time between pedal depressions. Basically, on the 1st depression they work normal, but if I have to have more than 1 depression at a time(like driving in traffic) the pedal begins to go lower and lower to the floor just like a brake line with a leak/air in the line. And it also makes sense that when I get done driving after having to brake alot, that the little bit of smoke I see and the brake fluid smell is from an obvious leak....But here's the freaky thing...My master cylinder has not lost one drop in the past week and a half of dealing with this and i've drove it every day. Literally, the brake fluid level is at the exact same spot, I have not added ANY to it. I'm baffled.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 18, 2014:

First off, sorry for the delay. I pride myself in answering questions quickly and this one slipped through the cracks.

The shaking sounds like you have some warping.

Do you ride the brakes a lot? There shouldnt be a smell unless there is a lot of heat. Off hand it sounds like it got too hot, warped the rotors and glazed the pads which would make the shaking and also the noise. But the smell I would maybe have it looked at if you think there is burning or an odd smell that is new. Things shouldnt stink. Let me know, thank you

350M on August 16, 2014:

Oh and also my steering wheel shakes not really bad, but I do notice it when driving down the road. And when I go to brake it makes that screeching squeaking noise! I'm thinking maybe brakes and rotors?

350M on August 16, 2014:

I was driving down the road yesterday and I could smell a burning odor. When I got home and got out I could still smell it. I walked around the car and the odor was coming from the right rear wheel and it was very hot. My car has been making a noise kinda like a squeaking screeching noise. I just had my transmission fluid changed at the ship a week ago and asked them about my brakes, they said they looked fine from what they could tell and had plenty of pad still on them. What do you think this could be? Rotors?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 12, 2014:

Well hopefull you wont go somewhere that "rips" you off. That would be the first step.

It sounds like your rotors are warped. Basically your pads and rotors should be flat so when they push against each other they stop smoothly. If they aren't smooth then its like you are rubbing something flat against something that is wavy causing it to vibrate. The reason you would feel it in the steering wheel is being its most likely the front, the front wheels are connected to your steering which sends all that energy up to the steering wheel. Good luck

Day on August 11, 2014:

I have a 2004 Malibu and the breaks are thumping when decelerating between 40-55 mph. the whole steering column shakes as well. I'm looking for some help to diagnose the problem before taking to a repair shop and ultimately getting ripped off.


YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on July 22, 2014:

why do they think it is the line? It's very uncommon for a line just to go bad unless there is physical damage to it. It can also get clogged which then everything would else would seem to get clogged. I would tear it down and inspect everything. see if its all smooth then go from there

Clueless on July 22, 2014:


Nice article! Real easy to understand, Thanks for writing it! I'd like your opinion on something...

So I have a chevy Epica (2005) that the front passenger Rotor heats up pretty hot in comparison to all the others. I don't notice any strange noises when braking, shaking or a major loss in the mileage (though I haven't been driving it long enough to know for sure). I'm just comparing to internet statistics. The other front rotor is pretty gouged from something or other and I'm getting it replaced but it did pass a safety a week ago so I doubt it's causing any extra stress on the adjacent rotor. I'm leaning towards a caliper issue but someone I talked to who's mechanically inclined doesn't think the caliper can be the problem, he thinks it's a line problem which is outside my skill set to repair. Any ideas?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on July 16, 2014:

hows your fluid? dirty? master cylinder would be the next I would assume. If it doesn't properly distribute the fluid or gets stuck then it can cause one or more area to stick. Maybe flush the system?

fixitguy on July 16, 2014:

Help asap!!!! my front driver caliper was sticking so i replaced both front calipers on my 2000 taurus and pads and rotors. the front driver caliper is still sticking and overheats while driving as it seems the pad is always rubbing the rotor. how do i fix please help.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 17, 2014:

Mathew, thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay. I try and respond within the hour but this one slipped by. When you replaced the brakes and rotors did you use good quality parts? I have noticed, especially on big trucks. That is you dont use a much better grade pad and rotor on them that they generally will have problems down the road. Even though the parts people (which I actually work for a Ford Parts dept) say that they will fit on your truck. They may not be the proper grade for the vehicle causing you problems? Where did you get them from? That is where I would start honestly. Let me know and ill give you some input.

David hello sir. Sounds like you have a weird one on your hands. Are you sure its a brake problem? I know you said it happens when braking but it could also be a low transmission problem too. Some gear getting stuck not letting you move at slow speeds. Could feel like it was grabbing. If you are certain it is now this then I would try and isolate the area first. Are you able to put it up on jacks with no wheels on? You could have someone hit the brakes and let off and see if the calipers are sticking. How is your brake fluid? Is it clean and at proper level? it's possible to have hydraulic problems is your fluid isn't properly maintained. Its the life blood of your system. If you dont think its a trans issue then I would start looking at your calipers. Excessive heat or brake dust? Stuff like that, just make sure it loos and acts right.

Hope I could help but both seem very odd. It could be something or it could be nothing. But ill try and give input where I can.

David on April 17, 2014:

On a 2000 4Runner Limited I ease up to a stop & let off on the brakes & it will "put on the brakes", fairly gently, by itself. That happens about 50 % of the time. When it does happen, there is a "drag" (It won't creep ahead in Drive) I can put it in reverse & go back ward 6 inches & brake & it will "unlock". Then I can proceed freed up. If I don't do the "reverse 6 inches" routine & just take off, it takes quite a bit of accelerator pressure (more than it should) but will move foreward & appear to be freed up. (I just hate to do that not knowing what I'm ruining) I just had the rear axle seals replaced, since the left wheel was dragging because of the leak.

Matthew Ray Kirk on April 12, 2014:

I have a 2003 Dodge 2500 Cummins, I have replaced every component of my brakes, pads, rotor, calipers, hubs, abs sensors, I have a low speed growl and I am out of ideas of what it can be! Breaks only growl 20 mph and below... I replaced the power steering pump and the hydroboost, and the sway bar link. Any ideas? I'm at a loss... I have been driving it like this and there are no signs of wear on new brakes...

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 14, 2014:

it can be true. sometimes random things can get in there and make some odd noise. If you hear it constantly though it is something to look out for. When you hear it, take note of how long you have been driving, driving conditions, how you were braking etc so that the shop can duplicate the exact thing. I have seen vehicles come in and out of our shop with a noise that we can't duplicate. I know it is annoying for the customer but we can't fix what we can't see or hear. Just keep an ear out and if it stays constant bring it in.

bec on February 14, 2014:

I have a 2005 toyota corolla acent. Just had the brake pads and roters replaced within the last month. But when i was braking i heard this really loud grinding/humming sound, from then on i hear it randomly. I took it into the shop but when they test drove it they said it was fine, and that it musnt be a bad problem as its not constant. Is this true?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on September 16, 2012:

You have no brakes at all or do you have to pump them? Are you losing any fluid ? It may be your brake booster though. Off hand that sounds like it would be. Let me know. Thanks

cindy on September 15, 2012:

I have a 1999 ford ranger with brake problems. I have already had the master cylander replaced along with brake pads. I have brakes when shut off but when I turn on the vehicle, NO BRAKES!!! Can you please help me out as to what it could be. Mind you, have already invested so much money into this truck, just don't know what else to do.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 19, 2012:

I am not sure where it is on your car but they are expensive. You need to see of you are getting power to the pump. It sounds like a lot of guessing which can get you in a mess if you just keep guessing.

vivian on August 19, 2012:

where is the pcm located..and yhea my dad thinks hes a mechanic nd he thinks their going bad... but he also has no clue whats causing it..

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 19, 2012:

It's possible your PCM is not sending signal. Are you getting power to the pump? Are you sure they are bad?

vivian on August 19, 2012:

@yojdawg.....weve replaced the fuel pump twice...main relay,ditributar cap,rotor..ive cheked the gas line no gas pressure so for sure its the pump again...i think i might have a shortage somewhere cus it blows the gas pump out..????????????

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 18, 2012:

what did you replace? It seems really odd that it would only be a certain time of day. Can you elaborate on what it is doing exactly. Does it crank at all, does it crank slowly, does it make any noise, etc. Did you replace battery, starters, fuel pump, or anything. I need all the info to help you. Let me know, thank you

vivian on August 18, 2012:


so ive replaced a couple things because my honda '90 wouldnt wanna turn on...it finally has and it seems during the day it breaks down or doesnt work and at night it works fine....why is that what is the solution to it? if you can please help before i sell this piece of shit car lol thanks

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 02, 2012:

Does it turn on at all? If not then it sounds like you do have an ignition problem. Could be coils and plugs but you would have to inspect them to verify. Sometimes driving through water can short your coils out if water gets up there.

vivian on August 02, 2012:

it cranks but shuts off ..i was told maybe the internal coils or spark plugs

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on August 01, 2012:

I think you mean they get red when braking. If that is the case you could have bad calipers or master cylinder not applying the correct pressure. As far as your car not starting does it crank at all or just when you turn the hey nothing happens at all ?

vivian on August 01, 2012:

i have a '90 honda accord when i put pressure on the breaks they dont shine bright red ..what is the cause of it? also ive had my car about a week and all of a sudden it doesnt want to start. we replaced the main relay and still no...soo please if you can help

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 11, 2012:

Is the click coming from the brakes or inside the vehicle. If you don't feel it then it could just be a clip that is maybe out of place and hitting when the brakes engage. Figure where it is coming from then take it apart to inspect

help on April 11, 2012:

i just got my rear brakes replaced by my friends husband on my 2000 chevy impala and after he completed the job he did the bleeding process but now when i press the brake everytime i let go it makes a click . in need of your expertise advice ...pleaseee

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 08, 2012:

The brakes probably aren't adjusted correctly and may be rubbing while not using them. Drum brakes have an adjuster that pushes the shoes out and in depending on what you want. Check the adjustment.

newf on April 08, 2012:

i had a virbration it my truck, it was when i apply the brakes.so i did the front brake and rotors,but that wasnt it.so now i did the back ones that did it,it dont virbr any more .but the left drum gets hot,the right one do not .why is that

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 06, 2012:

If your pads are still good then probably just need to resurface the rotors to get any junk off them. Inspect your brakes though to make sure they are still good.

AL on April 06, 2012:

When I turn to the left, at slow speeds, with brakes pressed slightly I have a groan sound with vibration until I let off the brakes. Any ideas?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 05, 2012:

If its only when you brake then it's the brakes. Either way have it inspected. Could be multiple things and possibly a safety concern

Amber on April 05, 2012:

it sounds like metal grinding and it stops making the sound when i turn right

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 04, 2012:

If it is making it even when not braking then it is probably not brake related. Is it possible when you were hit that it could have knocked something loose and making it rub? Is it metal sounding or plastic?

Amber on April 04, 2012:

Hey I have a 2004 Hyundai Sonota and recently i was rearended while i was at a complete stop that was three weeks ago about a week ago i noticed when i turn left my front drivers side made a grinding noise and as soon as i straightened the wheel it was gone then about three days ago it started doing it when i pushed on the breaks as well today when i drove it it made the grinding noise the whole time i was driving. can you tell me what it could be is it my break caliper or rotors? Thanks

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on April 03, 2012:

Thank you

j voss on April 02, 2012:

very good information. easy to understand. well written. Thank you.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 31, 2012:

If your brakes work correctly then it just sounds like they need to be warmed up. Sometimes brakes will collect deposits, especially after it rains, which cause them to make noise until they warm up and the pad can adapt. If you feel it to be a safety concern then take it to a shop to get your brakes checked. Good luck

ppaustin on March 30, 2012:

My corolla make a loud squeaking noise (like the brake will go out on you- very scary) when the car is sitting in the rain for a long time, but it only makes this loud noise once after that it's fine. Any idea what could cause this?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 27, 2012:

Stacey. If the bolts aren't tightened to the proper torque then they can slowly rattle and loosen up. When I do brakes, I am always sure to put locktite on the bolts. It's an adhesive that keeps the bolt in there for this exact reason.

stacey kerby on March 27, 2012:

before this happened my brakes were going, and we just bought front end brakes and were gonna do them the next day, and i dropped my husband and kids home and ran to the store, then when i was backing up from the parking lot and went to go forward it felt like i hit something but i knew i didnt so i put it in drive and went to drive and it felt like i was dragging someone .. so i got out and looked and nothing, but ive had my brake lock up on an old car, and i figured thats what it was. so my husband came and took of the front passenger side tire and the brake pad was hanging, and there were no bolts in caliper. we replaced it, and the front pads, and i drove it to work yesterday and i barely had brakes, even with the peddle all the way to the floor i was still slowly moving. he bleed all the brakes, im hoping when i take it to my mechanic today its a simple cheap fix. how is it possible for the bolts to just come out?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 26, 2012:

Stacey. The caliber pistons could have been damaged on the process of the bolts coming out. You may want to give it a few says to see of it firms up bit if it doesn't then I would look into it further. Do your brakes work correctly besides that ?

stacey kerby on March 25, 2012:

hi, the bolts to my caliper magically came out while i was driving the other day and my brakes locked up. my husband put on a new caliper and new front brake pads. he bleed all four breaks, and checked the lines and the brake fluid, and i still have to put the peddle all the way to the floor to get some kind of brakes. do you know what could be wrong?



YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 20, 2012:

It sounds like a transmission problem honestly. Maybe a reverse piston out. Did you notice any hard shifting before this ?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 20, 2012:

It is possible the pads pushed the calipers in farther than usual because they are new causing the fluid to change but it just seems odd. Good luck

Anonymous on March 20, 2012:

@YoJDawg: Thats what I can't understand. I changed the front pads and the next day it started doing that. I removed some fluids. And today it was fine. Tomorrow, I will have a long journey to do where I will need to apply the brakes a lot. Let's see what happens.

CarDummy on March 20, 2012:

I was reversing today and my car just stopped, not shut off, but stopped. It was as though I had applied the brakes. Then I found that I could no longer reverse well--it feels as though the emergency brake is on: the car tries to move but something is holding it back. I am going in to get my brakes done today anyways, but does this sound like a brake problem or something else? The car goes forward fine, and did begin to reverse fine until the problem happened.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 20, 2012:

It is possible that your brake fluid is off but usually you should never have to adjust the fluid unless there is a problem. There are a few things it could be but I don't understand why it would only do it after you changed the front.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 20, 2012:

Vlad, it could still just be breaking in. Often times that noise is normal and will go away after a bit. How long ago did you install your pads? Also depends on the type of pads. Were the brakes and rotors Subaru or aftermarket?

vlad on March 19, 2012:

Hi I have an 05 Subaru wrx with newly installed front rotors and brake pads. Brakes work fine but at slow speeds when I start braking I can hear a hissing sound. Its driving me nuts

specially after the dealer test drove it and said that coudnt find anything wrong. Any advise will be greatfully appriciated.

Anonymous on March 19, 2012:

No, it does not have ABS. It is a year 00 model. I removed some of the brake fluids and it seems to stop sliding. Weird.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 19, 2012:

Do you have an ABs light on? It sounds like an abs problem but hard to say. Let me know. Thanks.

Anonymous on March 19, 2012:

Hello. I have a 4x4. I have disc brake at the front and drum brakes at the rear. 1 day ago, I changed the front brake pads. That's ALL. Now everytime I hit the brakes a bit harder, the rear wheels just slide.

Before changing the front disk pads, I could hit the brakes really hard and the 4x4 would stop without sliding any wheels.

What could cause this?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 13, 2012:

Well you could have messed up a sensor or something causing the light to come on. The steering sounds like something else. Maybe have you tie rods checked out. Also make sure the wheels are tight.

Daniel on March 12, 2012:

I have a V6 Camry 1998 and i recently changed my rear brakepads and after the change i started noticing that while driving my steary becomes very light and unstable with the ABS light ON.wHAT DO I DO TO HAVE A STABLE STEARY AND AVOID ONESIDED MOVEMENT.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 09, 2012:

Is it only when you brake? If so then get the brakes looked at. If it's not when you brake then maybe a wheel breaking or heat shield. It's hard to say off hand but first figure out under what circumstance does it happen always.

tracy on March 08, 2012:

i am having a sound coke from my uppet right hand sude that sounds luke im dragging something or scrapin something metal. starts outta nowhete while pushing on the gas but to make it stop....u have to come to almost a complete stop. u can clearly hear this outside the car too. will sto by itself sometimrs in a few mins or until i stop. im stumped! what could this be?? help. 2003 kia spectra about 160k or a little over. thanks for ur advice. :)

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 07, 2012:

That pulsing is the ABS working. It applies the pressure automatically. The light being on could be a problem though so I would get it checked out. It could just be a sensor, I hope. But the pulsing is normal although it should only engage during hard braking. Hold the peddle down until you stop. Don't try and pump the brakes. ABS does it all for you. Good luck.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 07, 2012:

Jason, does the brake work ok? Or does it go to the floor? It's possible it's just normal. I am not too sure about jeeps. If its not ok then make check to see if there is air in the system.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 07, 2012:

Cheis You may have something sticking in the back. I would tear it down and check it out. It's possible it is just a oring but might be better just to replace the bolts.

Chris B on March 07, 2012:

Hi I have a 99 accord. My left rear brakes r getting extreamly hot. To the point where i can smell it. Also my left front caliper leaks fluid from the bottom bolt. Could that just b The o-ring?

jason on March 07, 2012:

I have a. 96. Jeep grand Cherokee. When I smash the brakes hard it sound like air is ccoming from the peal

Joe M on March 06, 2012:

My abs light is always on what should I be looking for to see if something is wrong. And also if I brake hard it will sometimes turn off. Recently I had to break hard and it went off. But the pedal started popping. Like moving my foot. Like a rhythmic tick but moving the pedal. I released the pedal and it stopped.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 04, 2012:

A bad caliper most likely. It would basically push the pad then never release. I would get it checked out. Good luck

melissa on March 04, 2012:

what would cause one rear brake to go ( metal touching metal, with no warning )and the other side to still be basically brand new at 20,000 miles and the front breaks still have about 50% wear left?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on March 03, 2012:

You should be able to get and rings separate . Have you tried looking online to see what is available. I know on fords they are replaceable for around 20 dollars depending on the vehicle.

luke on March 03, 2012:

Hello i have corsa c, with abs ive just had new rear drums and the abs rings wernt much good that was on it can i buy the rings that stick on frm sumwhere?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 24, 2012:

I don't refer ceramic. I find they are noisy depending on the quality. Could be just the pads but it didn't hurt to double check your work.

Omar on February 24, 2012:

I just changed my front brake pads on my 2004 cadallic with some ceramaic pads... Everytime I press on the brakes I hear a scrubbing sound. Is that normal when using new ceramic pads? Or do I need to go back and check my work?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 20, 2012:

Hmmm. Well off hand I think it's a piece of hardware in the brakes because there are so many little parts. But if your mechanic said it could be something else then it makes me think he already checked the brakes again. It is possible for bad boots and struts to cause vibration but it is hard to pinpoint over the Internet. Can you bounce your car or rock it to make it make the noise ?

tom on February 20, 2012:

2005 mercury sable with 171,000 miles. when breaking notice a slight clicking noise as car slows down from rear. Clicking noice seems consistent with the rotation of rear wheel. no real vibration in break pedal. New drums were installed about a week ago. mechanic re-inspected and said breaks were fine but could be strut vibration in worn out boot? anything I need to worry about?

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 19, 2012:

Well, brake fluid should be generally clear without any deposits or dirt or rust. It has a little tan color but mostly clear. It should not smell burnt. As far as flushing goes it really depends on your driving and the condition of the fluid.

Your acceleration problem could be a lot of things honestly. Unless it is shifting weird I wouldn't think it would be transmission problems. It sounds like to me more of a fuel/air sensor not reading correctly the right mixture then not properly accelerating.

Anyways. Let me know of anything else. I shall do what I can.

CE on February 19, 2012:

Excellent hub! Is there a general rule of thumb about what color brake fluid should be against a paper dip tester? Was told that I should have flushed brake fluid at least once a year to avoid now having to replace rear wheel cylinder. Also, my gas pedal no longer "feels" the same when I accelerate. Was hit last year driver side rear, and had not known my Nissan Sentra GXE had a hairline fracture in radiator. Had it replaced, but then check engine light came on since then and one mechanic thinks I need new transmission, another thinks its a sensor as the trans fluid doesn't look/smell burned. I know ur hub is mostly break rel, but am really looking to get more understanding about cars. Thanks!

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 16, 2012:

Did your brakes lock up or just didn't stop like you thought? If you have abs they should not lock up. Anyways, check your brake levels and make sure there are no leaks or air in your system that could cause loss of pressure. It's possible your booster isn't pumping enough but you will have to start with the basics first.

Jack Counelis on February 16, 2012:

I have a e250 work van Ford I was driving on the highway traffic stopped fast. and I had to stop Fast it has pads on the front and drums on the back I had plenty on pedal it was at the top but the van just did not stop I slammed on the breaks the just kept going could I have a good pedal and not stop the van.can I still have air in the lines or anti lock system not work properly

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 16, 2012:

Well good luck. Hope it works out.

Noms on February 15, 2012:

Yes it happens when i hit the break and when the car is still warming up, like i would start it go on first gear to move off then as I am about to go on second gear it start it. and also it happens. It did not do this at all until I sent it to this mechanic, the lady that I bought this car too says it has never ever done it before. The faults that were picked up by the machine when it was COR'd were as follows: steering wrack needed adjusting; hand break need adjusting; battery to be fitted properly; and exhast must be welded ther was a tiny hole on it. So, it had to be with this mechanic for 2 weeks while he was fixing these things and he had never fixed this car before as i had just bought it I had only had it for 3 and half weeks and it had no faults at all when i was driving it. but, when it got back from this car and after passing the COR (or Road Worthines) it came back with this major fault. Anyway, he kept it the whole day yesterday and i am suppose to be getting it back today, I hope it will be fixed! I am going on school Long Weekend; I hope to be writting back to you on Tuesday and that this car wouldn't have killed me or someone else. "sad"

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 15, 2012:

Does it happen when you hit he brake or just randomly? Also, did it happen before or after you took it to your guy? I would drop it to him and tell him to keep it all day until he finds it.

Noms on February 14, 2012:

I got the car back from the mechanic yesterday and drove fine on my way home but this morning, it did the same thing again 5 times right in the middle of the road it makes that loud bang and then locks the back wheels and halt!! when the mechanic worked on it yesterday he said there is nothing wrong with it at all and he checked it. But this morning i almost caused an accident as it did it again. I took it again to him accompanied by my collegue and the machamic was saying he doesn't understand why it is doing this, the only think he did was adjust the hand brake when it failed COR, but he was laughing at me as if i am making this up but luckly the colleague I went with there did test drive the car few days ago and it did happen to him, you see sometimes it happens some times it doesn't. I am so scared for my life and those of the road users and very frustrated that this mechanic can't seem to get to the bottom of this and yet he is so reputable and well known. The worst thing is that i have only been driving for a month and people are laughing at me saying its becuase I am new in this, i must just drive the car and stop fretting, question is why did this not happen before the car was taken to the mechanics? I am a very careful driver not perfect but careful and i know my car.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 14, 2012:

Ahhh. Now I got ya. I would get your parking brake checked out again then. It sounds like it wasn't properly adjusted and now it is grabbing and sticking. You could be causing damage in there if you continue to drive it like that. Hardware kits are cheep but maybe have your mechanic pay for some if he did in fact not adjust it properly.

Noms on February 14, 2012:

Hi YoJDawg, it is a manual transmition. I am told that the hand brake was overly adjusted which is why it is locking the back wheels and making a loud bang underneath. You see, it failed COR because the handbreak needed to be adjusted and that was done and it passed road test afterwards, but a day after getting it back it started making this loud bang on the road as if i am hitting a big rock and then locks and does not move until I restart it again then it goes, it did it 3 times, the mechanic that worked on it said he might hve re adjusted the handbrake too much. He is working on it now but i am very concern about this as it could cause a major accident. I was lucky when it happened i was driving in a quite suburb with not much cars.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 13, 2012:

Does it feel like a brake issue or transmission problem? Auto or manual trans? Let me know. It sounds like a trans issue but give me more info. Thanks.

Noms on February 13, 2012:

my nissan sentra 1993 model, has just passed COR last week Wedensday, but since then when i drive on lower gear it sometimes make this really loud bang under the car as if i am hitting something and when i stop to check there is nothing, and also it makes this really bad squeaking sound as if I am suddenly breaking and tyres are screaching on the road but its not that, so i stop to check and there is nothing. and carry on driving and all is fine. What could be causing this especially because it appsed road test just few days ago and the machine did not pick up any faults? Please help, very woried and desperate.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 12, 2012:

Well if you already got a new booster and it is only that one wheel then it sounds like a caliper to me. Just sounds like it is sticking which on an older 4x4 truck it sounds like it is probably way past due. Hopefully that is it. If that doesn't fix it then probably a master cylinder. All of the brake parts with seals could be at risk of your brake fluid got too hot. Make sure it is checked and maybe flush it if it's bad. Good luck.

rustyroot from Dallas on February 12, 2012:

YoDawg! Great info in the previous posts!

I have a similar problem as described above. I have an '86 Toyota 4x4 that the brakes recently started grabbing while I drive. Th ebrake pedal becomes very stiff and hard to press. It seems to cause a heavy vibration in the right front tire that starts at 55mph and dissipates at 65 or above. It has recently started locking up when I come to a stop and I have to wait 15-20 minutes for the brakes to release again. I took it to a reputable brake shop and they replaced the power booster and it ran fine. The next day, the problem returned. My gas mileage has dropped dramatically and I can smell the front brakes when this happens. It will not roll freely when in neutral and no brakes applied. I have bled the brakes 4-6 times and have completely replaced the fluid. I plan to take it back to the brake shop but I would appreciate your appraisal of this situation.

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 08, 2012:

Well, if everything you did was correct and you got the right parts then you may need a new master. If your brakes lock up it can cause really excessive heat which damages your fluid, seals, and can make your master fail. Check the condition of your fluid and see if it looks or smells burnt. Depending how much you drove them it could have caused damage

Emmanuel on February 08, 2012:

I have a 2005 Honda civic, My Problem started from a bad brake job i did myself caused the caliber to go bad on the passenger front wheel. So I've changed out Both front Rotors,Calibers,Brake Pads & Bled the Line. But even after doing all that, I still have a brake lock on that same front passenger wheel. I re bleed the brake line and done it runs for a few miles. Then the same problem starts. Long story short. What is really wrong with my brake system??? my last option is to replace my Master Cylinder. I have worked on my car this whole time. Please help. mannymorbid@gmail.com Thank you

YoJDawg (author) from Arroyo Grande on February 07, 2012:

Sounds like a proportionating valve not pushing correctly

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