Want to Become a Mechanic? Here’s What You Should Know About Diagnosing Brake Problems
January 31, 2019
The braking system is one of the most important parts of any vehicle. If the brakes don’t work properly, then drivers have a very serious safety issue on their hands. If you’re considering a career as an auto mechanic, you’ll need to know how to diagnose and fix common brake problems, which you’ll learn about during auto service technician training. Here’s a look at the causes of some of the most common braking issues you’re likely to encounter as an auto mechanic.
Auto Mechanics Will Look to Rotor Problems When the Steering Wheel Shakes
If the steering wheel shakes whenever the brakes are applied, then the problem is likely an issue with one of the front brake rotors. A rotor may simply be worn down, for example, and need to be replaced. Alternatively, the rotors may have been installed unevenly during a previous maintenance inspection. Rotor problems are easy to fix, but they should still be taken seriously. Driving with worn down or uneven rotors could damage other parts of the braking system, such as the brake pads.
A Vehicle Taking a Long Time to Stop Could Indicate the Brake Pads Need Replacing
For a vehicle to be safe to drive, it needs to be able to come to a complete stop quickly. A vehicle that takes longer to come to a stop than normal can be quite dangerous. Fortunately, this problem may be only temporary. For example, the brakes may be overheated—such as if they are being used excessively while going down a steep hill—and the problem will usually correct itself when the brakes cool. However, if the problem persists it may be because the brake pads are worn down. Replacing the brake pads is a fairly routine procedure and one you’ll likely perform often once you become a mechanic.
A Squishy Brake Is a Serious Issue You May Encounter in Your Auto Mechanic Career
If the brake pedal feels soft or squishy or it goes all the way down to the floor with little resistance, then this could indicate that the brake fluid is leaking. Often you’ll find the leak in the master cylinder itself, which is where brake fluid is stored. This problem is serious as the brakes could stop working entirely, so if you ever get a call from a customer complaining about soft or squishy brakes, you should advise them to stop driving immediately. During your auto mechanic career, you’ll find that the most common fix for this problem is to simply replace the master cylinder.
To Become a Mechanic You’ll Need to Know the Many Possible Causes of a Car Pulling to One Side
If a vehicle pulls to one side while braking, the cause could range from minor to serious. The issue could be as simple as the two front tires being unevenly inflated, which can be fixed in minutes with a pump. If the pull is quite significant, however, then it is likely a problem with the brake system itself. One of the calipers, which are clamp-like devices containing the brake pads that fit over the rotors, may be stuck or have come loose. That can lead to uneven braking pressure being applied on each side of the vehicle. The problem could also be due to a collapsed brake hose, which will also cause the calipers to function unevenly.
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