Common Brake System Problems - Service Research from Carr Chevrolet

The single most important safety feature on every car isn't the seatbelts, air bags, traction control or even sophisticated autonomous driving aids -- it's the brakes. If you can't stop safely, then you're not safe! It's just that simple.

So, if your brakes aren't working right, that's something to have looked at right away. If you're not confident in your car's ability to stop safely, don't take a risk. Have the vehicle safely towed to our service center so we can overhaul the brake system. We'll have you stopping with confidence once again! On this page, our technicians have compiled a list of the four most common brake problems, what causes them and how to get them fixed at Carr Chevrolet in Beaverton.

 
This reservoir where the brake fluid is stored is part of the brake master cylinder.

4. Brake Pedal Sinks To The Floor: Brake Fluid Leak

The fluid-filled brake system on your car is totally closed, and shouldn't leak. When you press on the brake, the brake fluid translates the force of pressing the pedal into force on the vehicle's brakes, which slows down your car.

If your car's brake pedal sinks all the way to the floor when you press the brake, that means your brake system is losing pressure -- which means there is a leak. You'll want to have our technicians inspect your calipers, brake lines and the brake master cylinder under the hood. Once we find the leak, we can patch it or simply replace the leaking part so your brake pedal feels firm and provides confident stopping power once again.

 
These brake rotors are scored and rusty, as a technician uses a lubricant spray so they can be removed.

3. Brake Pedal Pulsation: Warped Brake Rotors

If the brake pedal pulsates and you can feel your vehicle shudder and shake when you press the pedal, that often indicates a problem with your vehicle's brake rotors. On most modern cars, the brakes function by the caliper clamping down onto the brake rotors. This creates friction that slows down your car. However, the surface of your brake rotors can warp over time.

Your brake rotors can collect deposits of brake material. They can become damaged by debris. They can even become warped out of alignment with the brake pads. As your brake pads press against the warped or damaged rotors, they'll begin to vibrate, and they'll even shake your entire car. That means you'll either need brand-new brake rotors, or you'll need to have your existing brake rotors resurfaced by a technician with the proper tools.

2. ABS Light Is On: Electrical Problems

When the ABS light turns on in your car's dashboard, that means the ABS system isn't functioning properly. However, your brakes will operate normally under normal braking conditions.

The ABS system prevents your brakes from locking up in an emergency braking situation. When you slam on the brakes, the ABS system rapidly pulses the brakes on and off -- this helps keep you from skidding. If the ABS isn't working on your car, your brakes could lock up if you slam on the brakes, sending you into a dangerous, uncontrolled skid. That's why you'll want to have the ABS system fixed if it's not working. It's a complex, computer-controlled system that can stop working for a variety of reasons, like faulty speed sensors, bad solenoids, or a bad ABS module under the hood.

A fresh, shiny set of brake pads and rotors are ready to be installed.

1. Brakes Are Squeaking: Worn Brake Pads

A vehicle's brakes can squeak for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is due to brake pads that are ready to be replaced.

If your brakes are squeaking when you press the brake pedal, it could be because a metal wear indicator is rubbing up against your brake rotors. This sound is designed to tell you that your car's brake pads are almost used up. Get them replaced soon, or else metal-on-metal contact will soon occur, which will cause more significant damage to other parts of your vehicle's brakes.

Schedule service online at Carr Chevrolet in Beaverton, OR
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  1. CARR Chevy World

    15005 SW Tualatin Valley Highway
    Beaverton, OR 97006

    • Sales: (866) 970-1590

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