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Brakes are without a doubt a vital part of your car safety. Having good brakes will give you the assurance that you can stop your car when required within the correct braking distances for the vehicle speed. First Choice Autos offer brake repairs and also offer a free brake test. If you want to have your brakes tested contact us to arrange make a free brake test booking. We will inspect your foot brakes and hand brake.

Common Brake faults are:

Brake warning light comes on: This most likely indicates that there is a leak in the system. Don’t drive until you have had the system checked out, and any leaks have been repaired.

Brake pedal “rests” at a lower position: This is usually caused by drum brake adjusters not working properly. If the adjusters are rusty or they stick, they won’t advance properly. In addition to having the brakes readjusted, you will need to have the adjusters cleaned or replaced. This could also indicate that the brake pads or shoes need to be replaced or that there is a leak in the system.

“Spongy” brake pedal: If your brakes are “soft,” i.e. the pedal doesn’t offer as much resistance when you push it, then there is likely to be air in the hydraulic system somewhere. Your mechanic will need to “bleed” brake lines, i.e. drain and replace the oil.

Need to push pedal too far in: This could be due to a variety of problem: worn brake pads or shoes, poorly adjusted drum brakes, or air in the lines. You can pump the pedal several times to compensate for this, but you will still need to get your brakes checked as soon as possible.

Pedal pulses or vibrates when you brake: This occurs when the rotors on the disc brakes, which should be flat, are worn unevenly. As a result, they don’t make contact evenly with the pads, which then causes vibrations. The rotors need to be resurfaced or, if the problem is severe, replaced.

A scraping noise: This occurs when there is metal to metal contact in the brakes, which means that you have worn entirely through the brake pads or shoes. A brake repairs is long overdue! Driving with shoes or pads this worn can seriously damage your brakes, forcing you to replace more expensive parts in your brakes.

A squealing noise: This can be caused by vibrations between the brake pads and rotor or caliper. This may be unavoidable on some older brakes which use semi-metallic compounds in the pads. Replacing the brake pads with newer ones can help. There are a few other strategies your mechanic can use to minimize this noise. However, this could also be a more serious problem, such as worn brake pads or a missing gasket, so do get your brake repair soon.

A jerky, “slip-and-grab” feeling: It’s likely that brake oil or another substance has leaked onto to the brake mechanism. Contaminated pads will need to be replaced and, of course, the source of the contamination has to be identified and stopped.

Pedal sinks to the floor: This occurs when pressure isn’t being maintained in the hydraulic system. This is likely a leak or a worn-out master cylinder. Don’t drive in this situation! Instead, have your car towed and fixed immediately.

Brakes don’t release properly: There are several potential causes: the springs in the drum brake are not working properly; the floating caliper in the disc brakes isn’t adjusted correctly; the emergency brake cable or mechanism is broken; or the adjuster mechanism in drum brakes has extended too far. Book a brake repair before its too late.

Car swerves to one side when brakes are applied: This means that braking power isn’t evenly distributed between the front brakes. The car will “draw” to the side with the stronger brake, as the opposite wheel now has greater driving power. It’s likely that a leak, broken piston, stuck caliper, or other mechanical failure has occurred in one of the brakes. This can also be caused, however, by different brands of brake pads being used on the two front brakes, as different makes of pad and compounds have different braking properties.

Brakes are hard or difficult to use: Usually this means that the vacuum assist isn’t working properly, forcing you to put a lot more power into the system. The booster itself could be leaky or defective, or the check valve could be failing. You can test the check valve by running the engine for a few minutes (building vacuum) and then turning off car. If you don’t have power assist after a few minutes, the check valve is broken. To test the vacuum booster itself, turn off the engine. Pump the brake pedal a few times to “bleed” all remaining vacuum from the booster. Then, restart the engine and let it run for a couple of minutes. This should build vacuum in the booster again. Now, try your brakes. If there’s no power assist, this means that the vacuum booster is broken.

ABS Warning light comes on: This means that the computer has detected a problem in this system and turned it off. While this isn’t going to put you in immediate danger, it’s still better to have this system checked sooner rather than later.

Brakes lock: This is likely caused by a damaged brake pad or shoe. Have your car towed immediately and book a brake repair.

First Choice Autos offer Brake Repair in Rotherham.

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