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COMMON BRAKE SYSTEM WARNING SIGNS
that every driver should know

Do you know just how good your Brakes really are?

Effective and safe braking is crucial for every vehicle and driver, though more often than not we only find out just how good our braking system is when it's truly put to the test.

Comprising of 4 main functions (Brake Pedal to Master Cylinder, Fluid Lines to Brake Calipers, Caliper Pistons to Brake Pads and Brake Pads to Brake Rotors) your braking system uses the fundamental basics of friction to regulate speed or come to a full stop.

Here's how your Braking System works:

  • Depression of the Brake pedal activates the Master cylinder.
  • The Master cylinder sends balanced brake fluid pressure through the lines to the Calipers.
  • The Caliper pistons push the Brake pads onto the spinning Rotor.
  • The contact of the Pads with the Rotor creates the desired level of friction to either slow or fully stop the rotation of the wheel(s).

Common Brake warning signs that every driver should know

Brake Warning Lights

  • Firstly, never ignore a Brake Warning light. Brake warning lights are there to do exactly that 'warn us' that something isn't right and different vehicle manufacturers can use different warning light configurations.

    Common causes for brake warning light activation:
    1. The handbrake (or park brake) is engaged.
    2. Loss of brake fluid or brake line pressure.
    3. The operational thickness of your Brake pads are getting low.
    4. A combination of these or something else completely.
    If one of your Brake warning lights is active, best to get your braking system checked by a braking professional.
To find out what Rotor, Pad and Caliper combination would work best for you contact us via our enquiry form here, or email sales@onlineautoparts.com.au or Phone 07 3265 6228

Grinding Noises from Brakes

  • Grinding noises that you also feel when applying the brake pedal.

    Common causes for brake grinding:
    1. Your Brake pads are worn down and are no longer effective, the sound is metal on metal likely grinding grooves into your Rotors. Grooved rotors are less effective and often cause steering and body vibration while under braking.
    2. You may have small rocks or gravel trapped in your Caliper assembly that needs clearing. This may be easy to do yourself.
    3. If you have Drum brakes it may be due to rust build up.
    Inspect your Brake system or get it checked by a braking professional.
To find out what Rotor, Pad and Caliper combination would work best for you contact us via our enquiry form here, or email sales@onlineautoparts.com.au or Phone 07 3265 6228

Brake Vibration or Pulling Sideways

  • Symptoms experienced under light or heavy Braking.

    Common causes for braking vibration:
    1. Rotors can naturally become uneven over time and may need replacement or machining.
    2. Your Rotors may have been damaged by driving with worn pads creating grooves into the rotor surface (see Grinding noises above).
    3. Your Caliper piston(s) may not be moving freely as pressure is applied and removed causing the Pads to remain in contact with the Rotor on a single wheel (or all wheels).
    4. Likely one of your Calipers is apply more (or all) of the pressure under Braking.
    Inspect your Brake system or get it checked by a braking professional.
To find out what Rotor, Pad and Caliper combination would work best for you contact us via our enquiry form here, or email sales@onlineautoparts.com.au or Phone 07 3265 6228

Soft or Spongy feeling Brake Pedal

  • Change in Pedal feel experienced under light or heavy Braking.

    Common causes of change to brake pedal feel:
    1. If your Brake Pedal feels softer or sinks to the floor then you need an immediate brake service or safety inspection.
    2. There may be air or moisture trapped within your braking system.
    3. You may have a brake fluid leak somewhere in the system.
    4. Your Master Cylinder may need attention or replacement.
    Immediate inspection, repair or service is required.
To find out what Rotor, Pad and Caliper combination would work best for you contact us via our enquiry form here, or email sales@onlineautoparts.com.au or Phone 07 3265 6228

Leaking Air, hard to Push Brake Pedal

  • If your Pedal becomes hard to push or your hear air leaking do not drive your vehicle. If necessary change down through the lower gears and apply the emergency/hand brake.

    Common causes of brake pedal lose and leaking air:
    1. You may have faulty Brake Booster.
    2. Your Booster may have a faulty check valve.
    3. There may be a crack in your vacuum line. (Can also make engine stall)
    Immediate inspection, repair or service is required.
To find out what Rotor, Pad and Caliper combination would work best for you contact us via our enquiry form here, or email sales@onlineautoparts.com.au or Phone 07 3265 6228

Burning Smell or Wheel Smoke

  • If you experience a strong chemical smell under heavy braking or smoke coming from a wheel while driving, find somewhere safe to stop as fast as possible.

    Common causes of burning odour or wheel smoke:
    1. If you have been under hard braking for repeated periods you may be experiencing overheating of the braking system and you should pull over safely as fast as possible.
    2. You may have boiled your Brake fluid which will result in Brake failure.
    3. Your hand brake (park brake) may be on or not fully released.
    4. If you experience a smoking wheel one of your Brake Calipers make be stuck 'on' the Rotor and your vehicle is likely unsafe for driving without repairing the problem.
    Immediate inspection, repair or service is required.
To find out what Rotor, Pad and Caliper combination would work best for you contact us via our enquiry form here, or email sales@onlineautoparts.com.au or Phone 07 3265 6228

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This helpful article is proudly brought to you by Tora BrakingTM
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Please note

Brakes are a vital component of a vehicle. We recommend a qualified technician always perform brake component repairs and upgrades. If you choose to DIY please be sure to check your work carefully before taking a sensible test drive.