Common Brake Problems And A Guide To Brake Repair

Your Fort Collins Auto Repair shop will service quite a few vehicles that need brake repair. Most cars use disc brakes, and they are not a terribly complex system. They are composed of a brake fluid filled hydraulic system, a set of padded clamps known as calipers, and a disc known as the rotor. Additionally, your rotors will have brake pads attached to them.

With time or overuse, any of these components can get worn or damaged, and you will need to get them taken care of at your Fort Collins auto repair shop.

Here are the indications that you have a brake problem. If you experience any of these, get them fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your braking system. Operating your car without effective brakes is a serious safety hazard.

Your Car Makes A High Pitched Squeal Or Grinding Noise

A small built in indicator in your braking system will make a high pitched squeal when your brake pads need replacing. If you hear this strange noise, thats what it is. If you do hear a grinding noise, it means your brake pads are completely worn down.

When those pads are completely worn away, when you apply the brakes, the metal of the calipers is grinding against the metal of your rotors. Needless to say, it is not a good way to come to a brake. Additionally, if you continue using your car without workable brake pads you’re going to damage your rotors. Rotors are not designed to act as brakes, thus, using them in this way will ruin them.

Mushy Pedal

If your brake pedal goes almost to the floor when you engage it with your foot, or if it seems to “loose,” this usually is an indication of worn out brake pads. It could also indicate a problem with the hydraulic system, such as air in the line, an air leak or a brake fluid leak.

If your brakes do just the opposite of the “mush,” that is the “grab,” that is the hit hard at the slightest touch, this also indicates a brake problem. Fortunately, this usually indicates that your brake fluid is either dirty or has been contaminated with moisture. Your Fort Collins Auto Repair shop can fix this situation quickly, and check for other potential problems that grabbing brakes can be a sign of, including a possibly unevenly worn brake rotor.

Anytime your cars brake pedal is not acting smoothly and responding well, it is a sure sign that your vehicle has a brake problem of some kind. If the brake pedal is extremely hard to operate at all, this could mean you have a brake line obstruction or a problem with the vacuum system. Both of these would will the brake pedal extremely hard to operate.


If your car wants to veer off of the road, or in a direction independent of which way you’re steering the vehicle, this is usually a symptom of a tire problem, or a car that is in need of alignment, but it is also a symptom of a few things that can be in disrepair in your braking system. Your auto technician is the best person to sort this out. If your car is pulling, take it to your Fort Collins Automotive Center and have the auto technician check it out. In addition to a bad alignment, she will check your car’s brakes. Pulling can result when a brake hose collapses, a calliper is stuck, or your brake pads need changing.


With antilock brakes, if you do have to quickly hit your brakes hard to avoid colliding with a pedestrian, or even keeping yourself from rear ending a stalled car on the highway, your antilock brakes will feel what is called a quick grab. this is simply a mechanical vibration within the anti lock brake system itself. If you feel this vibration when engaging your anti lock brakes in normal driving situations, it indicates that your brake rotors are warped. Uneven surfaces will bump against the brake pads, and you’ll feel the feedback through the brake pedal as a vibration.

Rotors warping is unusual, but it will happen if your car’s braking system is put under stress over an extended period of time. If you do a lot of mountain driving on a regular basis and find yourself employing the brakes a great deal, the brake rotors could warp. Excessive strain on anti lock brakes can lead to this problem. Even towing another vehicle can do it.

Whatever the problem, just get it fixed. Your car needs to be both functional and safe to operate, and this necessitates healthy brakes.