4 Common Causes of Brake Failure

Perhaps one of the scariest experiences any driver can have is realizing they cannot stop their car at will. Brake failure puts you at risk of harming yourself and others on the road; fortunately, the problem is preventable. Always take your vehicle to the shop for auto repairs at the first signs of trouble to avoid dangerous situations. The following guide can help you understand several reasons why brakes malfunction.

Why Do Brakes Fail?

1. Leaking Fluid

Car brakes need hydraulic pressure to bring a vehicle to a stop, and the force created by the fluid causes the pads to push against the discs to slow or stop the rotation of the wheels. A leak in the brake fluid line leads to a drop in the hydraulic pressure required to make this happen. Check the reservoir level once a year to determine if there’s a possible leak. You can also ask the mechanic to do this when you take the car for an oil change.

2. Faulty Brake Cylinder

The master brake cylinder is where the fluid gets compressed as you push the pedal. However, if the piston seals inside wear out or become damaged, it cannot create the needed hydraulic pressure to bring your car to a stop. If you have to push the pedal repeatedly to brake, go to an auto repair shop for a comprehensive checkup.   

3. Overheating Brake Pads

Friction causes brake pads to thin out, which decreases a vehicle’s stopping power. If you combine this deterioration with high temperatures due to overuse, the material turns hard or brittle. Hardening reduces the pads’ ability to grip the rotor disc and create enough friction to slow the car.

4. Damaged Rotors

Rotors connect to the pads and wheels, and when you apply the brakes, they create friction to slow down the wheels’ rotations. However, the discs can become distorted from uneven cooling and heating and develop hot spots that hinder friction. Without this resistance, brakes can malfunction.

If brake failure led to an unavoidable car crash, bring your vehicle to Consolidated Bodyshop in Crossville, TN, for top-notch auto repairs. This locally owned and operated business provides complete auto body repairs to drivers throughout Cumberland County, including collision repair, auto painting, and bodywork restoration. They are also comfortable working with your insurance company, so you don’t have to. Call (931) 456-4090 to schedule an appointment, or visit them online to learn more about their services.