Braking System Diagnostics

brakes

Brake System Diagnostics involves looking at symptoms and determining which brake system components are causing the issue. If you don’t know where to start or don’t have the time, we are here to diagnose your braking issues

Brake system component and common symptoms

Braking systems are comprised of the same key components, all designed to stop your vehicle. A problem with any of them can result in poor braking or no braking.

Master Cylinder

The master cylinder is a hydraulic cylinder. It is controlled by the brake pedal. The force applied to the brake pedal is transferred, via hydraulic brake fluid to each wheel. This fluid is responsible for providing the force to vehicles brake pads or brake shoes, which slows or stops the vehicle. Common symptoms of a bad master cylinder are:

  • Low or Leaking fluid
  • Spongy or squishy brake pedal
  • Brake pedal sinking to the floor when holding the pedal
  • Failure to engage brakes.
  • Contaminated brake fluid

Brake Pads

Brake pads are the fiction material on vehicles with disc brakes. They are material which is used to slow the rotation of the vehicles wheels. They can be made of various materials. The most common are: organic material, a semi-metallic material, or a ceramic material. Over time the brake pads wear out. Common symptoms related to brake pads are:

  • Squealing when braking
  • Increased stopping distance
  • Increased brake pad travel
  • Lower brake pad
  • Grinding Noise

Brake Shoes

Brake shoes are the fiction material on vehicles with drum brakes. The material is used to slow or stop wheels on the vehicle. They are typically made out of an organic or semi-metallic material. Just like brake pads, brake shoes wear out over time. Common symptoms related to brake shoes are:

  • Grinding, squealing, or screeching sound
  • Vibration or pulsation when applying brakes
  • Having to press the pedal further to engage
  • Grinding, squealing, or screeching sound
  • Having to press the pedal further to engage

Brake Rotor

The rotor is the surface that brake pads press against to slow or stop a vehicles wheels. These are typically made of a machined cast iron. They do wear out over time. Common symptom related to brake rotors are:

  • Vibration or pulsating when braking
  • Increased pedal travel
  • Lower brake pedal position
  • increased braking distance
  • Grinding or squealing when applying brakes. 

Brake Drum

The drum is the surface that brake shoes press against to slow or stop a vehicles wheels. These are typically made of a machined cast iron. They do wear out over time. Common symptom related to brake rotors are:

  • Increased pedal travel
  • Increased stopping distance
  • Pulsating brake pedal when apply brakes
  • Metallic scraping of squealing noises  
  • Lower brake pedal

Brake Booster

The brake booster is designed to multiply the force delivered by the drive to brake system. The booster makes pedal movement easier for the driver. Brake boosters are most commonly vacuum driven, however, hydraulic driven system and electrically driven systems do exist. The most common brake booster symptoms are:

  • Hard brake pedal
  • A hissing or whistling noise, usually when the brake pedal is pressed.
  • Increased stopping distance
  • Leaking fluid (Hydro-boost)
  • Illuminated Warning Light (Electric brake booster)

Brake Lines & Hoses

Brake lines and hoses carry hydraulic brake fluid from the master cylinder to other brake components. The rigid brake lines make up the majority of the system that carries brake fluid. Hoses are used at each wheel or where there is a need for a component to move with the vehicles suspension. Symptoms related to a bad brake line or hose typically are:

  • Significantly increased braking distance
  • Inability to stop or safely stop
  • Brake fluid leaking
  • Brake pedal dropping when pressed.
  • Increased brake pedal travel

Brake Caliper

On a brake system which has discs brakes, the caliper houses one or more hydraulic pistons. These pistons are moved by hydraulic brake fluid when the brake system is used. This piston drives the brake pads against the rotor,creating the force necessary to slow or stop a vehicle. The most commons symptoms related to brake calipers are:

  • Leaking fluid
  • Vehicle pulling hard to one side when braking (with tires properly inflated)
  • Clunking sound
  • Squealing or metallic rubbing noise.
  • Increased stopping distance
  • Increased pedal travel

Brake Wheel Cylinder

On vehicles with drum brakes the wheel cylinder is what is used to apply force the brake shoes and slow or stop a vehicle. The wheel cylinder is driven by the hydraulic brake fluid. The most commons symptoms related to brake wheel cylinders are:

  • Increased pedal travel
  • Increased stopping distance
  • Lower brake pedal
  • Leaking fluid
  • Scraping or metallic sounds

How much will it cost?

Diagnostic services are preformed to find the cause of an issue. Depending on the system that is being worked on the complexity man vary. When preforming diagnostic services we estimate the amount of time it will it take. This information is presented to customer along with a price. The price is not charged, as long as the customer chooses to go forward with the repair.

The Fixitfor.us difference:

Most common vehicle repair services can be preformed at your location. This saves you time. No need to arrange drop-offs or pick ups. No sitting in a waiting room. Just continue with your day, while our experts handle your repair. Our Mechanics are all certified. Our business is a registered repair facility in Michigan. We are fully insured and back our service with our warranty.

What we require

  • A safe place to work on your vehicle
  • Authorization from a property owner or management.
  • We do not do repairs in areas restricted by law.
  • We do not preform repairs in unsafe location or on unstable surfaces
  • We do not preform repairs during serve weather

Book your appointment

Ready to set up your appointment? The whole process can be completed online. Simply choose a day and time that works for you. Let us know what service you need or what your car issues are. You will be contacted with an estimate and the ability to confirm your appoint. We will even send you a reminder. If you aren’t sure when you will want service performed, you can get an estimate without choosing a time.

Are you in our service area?

Our services are available, on site throughout Michigan. Odds are you live near one of the cities we provide service in. Below are some of the common places we perform repair services.