Our brakes are maybe the most important thing to keep tabs on. Of course if your engine isn’t working it won’t run. If your wheels are off kilter than it won’t go either. But if your brakes don’t work then even if all those other things are running tip top, you won’t be able to stop. We’re all so concerned with getting our vehicles to run as well as possible that the thought we can’t  stop doesn’t occur to us as often as it should. Here are some common brake problems and how to fix them.

Hydraulics:

Your hydraulics is the force which transfers and makes stronger the force from the pedal to the brake itself. If your hydraulics isn’t working then your vehicle won’t stop in the typical manner which it should. You can get a leak  in which case you probably want to seek out the assistance of a mechanic who can make sure that it doesn’t return or lead to larger issues.

Brake Fluid:

This “fluid” (actually an oil) is for the hydraulic system. It enlarges the forces exerted when you lightly tap on the brakes and makes helps you stop when you need it to. This is something that can also leak, run low, or be somehow or other contaminated. You will get a dashboard warning light to alert you of the issue. The best way to alleviate this is to drain the fluid and replace it.

Booster:

Another component to your braking system this uses the vacuum from your engine to further enhance the forces your foot applies to the master cylinder. This is something that is usually only required in disc brakes. Your booster can be defective and it can seem to take a lot more force than is typically called for. Through an inspection it can be determined whether your booster can be repaired or needs to be replaced.

Master Cylinder:

Part of your hydraulic system the master cylinder takes the pressure from your lever and splits it in the event of leaks or forced transfers from the brakes. Yould begin to notice this as defective if there was no braking when you applied pressure. You want to get this taken care of as soon as you notice it. Repair typically requires inspection and professional replacement.

Lines:

These are the mechanisms which carries your fluid through your hydraulic system. You might notice this by your brake feeling “hard” when you depress it. You may pull to one side or you may get something of a “spongy” pushback fromthe system. You should have this looked into straight away.

If you are mechanically adept you may wish to check in on some of these issues yourself. However if you don’t know what you’re doing you can often cause more harm than good, so be careful. Your brakes are the only thing standing between you, your speeding engine, and the solid rock wall which lies ahead of you.

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Nick writes for Kiwi French Automotive, located in Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane.

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