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Columbia and Lexington Auto Repair


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Top 6 Causes of Brake Failure

Brake Lights

If you have been maintaining your brakes on a regular basis, it is unlikely you will experience brake failure. However, it is good for vehicle owners to know the causes of brake failure, also referred to as brake fade. Unfortunately, brakes can completely fail, losing their ability to perform. Described below are some of the causes of brake failure:

  1. Loss Of Brake Fluid Pressure -- The braking system works with hydraulic pressure. If there is any type of leak in the brake line, caliper or wheel cylinder, there could be insufficient pressure in the brake line for the brakes to work properly.
  2. Loss of Air Pressure - If the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor when it is depressed, it means the air pressure in the brake line could be the problem. If the pressure drops too low when driving, the vehicle should no longer be driven.
  3. Rusty Brake Line -- A rusty steel brake line is something that can be found in older vehicles, especially if they have been exposed to years of moisture as well as salt on the roads. Once the line rusts, brake fluid can begin to leak.
  4. Leak in ABS Modulator - It's possible for rust or dirt in a vehicle's brake system to get into its ABS modulator. This will make it difficult for its spring-loaded accumulator valve to close properly.
  5. Faulty Power Brake Booster -- When the power brake booster is faulty, the driver has to press the brake pedal to the floor for it to work.
  6. Water In Brake Fluid -- When brake fluid reaches a high temperature, water will vaporize into steam and the braking motion will not be transmitted to the vehicle's wheels.

Don't delay in scheduling a brake service to inspect your brake system and to have any needed brake repair made if you are starting to notice any of the following issues while braking:

  • Brake light on the dash comes on and stays on.
  • Squealing, grinding, or scraping noises.
  • Vibrations or wobbling felt.
  • Fluid leaking.
  • Spongy or soft brake pedal.
  • Car veers to one side or the other when braking.
  • Burning smell.
  • Car bounces up and down when coming to a hard stop

More questions about the causes of brake failure? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Kestner Automotive today for more information about brake service and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Lexington, SC, and the surrounding area.

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