A rough guide to diagnosing a brake problem

There are very few “backyard mechanics” that are capable of handling a complete brake job; this is definitely the domain of experts in repairing brakes in Fargo ND. Although you may not have the tools and skills to fix a brake problem, you can come close to diagnosing the problem. When you hear a telltale clunk, at best, you can learn what to expect, at worst you can determine if the price your offered is good or a rip-off.

There are a number of observations that can be made by the amateur:

Brake pads: The pads can be checked for evidence of uneven wear, which may indicate that the brake calipers are getting stuck.

Brake lines: Many cars are fitted with braided brake lines. These are lines, which consist of a rubber high pressure hose, over-braided with a metal shield which supplies support, protection and are aesthetically pleasing. Although these lines are stronger, they can still fail; however, the failure is harder to spot. Your brake lines you be flexible but still firm. If the hoses are brittle or appear to be slack, they need replacing as they are prone to failure.

The connections: When you are checking the connections, handle with care. If you find any connections which are loose, this can indicate a worn part or possible leak. A leak anywhere in the brake system is potentially very dangerous as it is an indication that the brake pressure is compromised, which will soon lead to, what could be, catastrophic failure. If there is a leak, any part, especially friction components, should be replaced. The places to look for leaks are:

* The brake backing plate

* The brake hoses

* Brake tubing

* All the connections

* The master cylinder and all wheel cylinders

Not all problems associated with brakes in Fargo ND can be visually identified, but it is possible to check further.

Brake pedal travel: If you step on the brake pedal, and the travel feels to be excessive it means the rotor is too far away from the brake pad. This usually means the rotor is either worn or warped, or the wheel bearing is loose. Excessive pedal travel can also mean that there is air in the system. If this is the case, a mechanic will know how to bleed the system.

Brake free play: The free-play, or the distance between the pedal at rest and the pedal depressed should be between .04 and .12 inches. If the gap is less, the brakes can drag, causing premature wear and failure. To measure this, with the engine turned off, pump the brakes a few times.

The best time to pay attention to a problem with your brakes is before it happens. When the car is in the garage for an oil change is an ideal time for a mechanic to give the system a professional appraisal.

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