Most common causes of a broken brake system

08/08/2018
A failed brake could be the result of various defective parts in the system.

1. Damaged parts

There are many components that make up the brake system: the pad, the hydraulic system, the paddle etc. Damages in any part would result in your brake not working as smoothly and efficiently as it should. Make sure that you take your car to an auto service auto regularly and keep your eyes on the brake system.

2. Worn-out brake pads

When your brake pads are worn out, it can create a distinct screeching sound and this often is the indication that you should get new ones. The reason might be the lining material is completely consumed or the brake is overheating due to excessive use (for example, when you go downhill). The built-up rust in the pad can be one reason too.

>>> Related post: 10 signs of worn out brakes

2 brake pads, one worn and one new

If your brake pad looks like the one on the left, change it immediately

3. Leaking brake fluid

As you probably know already, when you step on the brake pad, the force from the feet will be transferred fully to the brake mechanisms in 4 wheels through the hydraulic force. A leak in the hydraulic system will thus prevent the energy to be transferred fully to the pads, leading to a potentially deadly scenario. Luckily, there's a built-in safety measure to mitigate the risk. This system has 2 separate systems, one connects the front wheels and one connects to the rears. In the event that one system fails, the other will still be sufficient to slow down the vehicle. That's not to say you shouldn't worry about the leaks, you should. The separation of brake systems is merely a preventive measure, what would happen if they both fail?

a brake fluid leak

A leak in the brake system will prevent part of the force from your feet to transfer to the wheels brake

4. Rusty brake lines

The brake line is the part the connect the brake pads to the wheel brakes, with the help of the brake fluid. Without it, you stepping on the brake pad is meaningless because the brake line is the one transferring all the force. The leaking brake fluid issue might be the result of a rusty brake line, so make sure that you check it frequently.

5. Damaged brake booster

Some people installed this device on their vehicle. Its working mechanism is to use the vacuum to reduce the pressure needed when you step on the brake pedal. So if you don't find anything wrong with the original brake system, the booster might be the issue here. Equipped yourself with a booster gadget to detect problems with it or ask a mechanic to do it for you.

Simple Brake Booster Check

6. Worn-out hoses

It is a rubber part that covers all over the brake lines. You should not get them exposed to dirt and/or acidic fluid or else it will become brittle and is easier to break and crack. The damage in this part will, in turn, affect the overall function of the brake.

7. Fluid contamination

As we've mentioned in our previous articles, water can find its way into the brake fluid over time. The problem is that even though the water vapor can be compressed like the fluid, but it doesn't channel the energy from the brake pad to the wheels brakes, thus defeat the purpose. So it's best if you check this regularly for fluid contamination and change the fluid every 2 to 3 years.

a cup of contaminated brake fluid

Water-contaminated brake fluid is highly dangerous as water would turn to vapor when heated

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