Brake problems vary greatly with the make and
model of a car, the age of the car and other variables. If your
car is experiencing brake problems, bring it to a mechanic. You
may, however, be able to narrow down some of the possible problems
yourself. Below are some general guidelines.
- Step on the brakes, with the car's engine
turned off. A soft or mushy brake pedal indicates that you
may be low on brake fluid, or may need to bleed your brakes.
- You may need new brake pads, or to clean
the brakes, if they squeal.
- In a clear area, step sharply on the brake
pedal. If the brakes do not stop the car effectively, several
things may be wrong, including worn pads, contaminated brake
fluid or contaminated brake pads.
- If the brakes pull the car to one side, you
may need to adjust the brake's clearance, may have to replace
the pads or rotors, or may have insufficient hydraulic pressure
in one part of the brake system.
- Begin driving forward slowly. If the brakes
bind or drag, it may be due to grease on the pads or scored
or warped rotors. Visit a mechanic and describe the car's performance
in as much detail as you can. Check brake fluid regularly. If
you have determined that your brakes are bad, avoid driving
the car until they are fixed. Computerized brakes, which are
standard in many cars, need to be fixed by a mechanic.