Why Does My Car Pull To One Side When Braking?

This post covers a pull to one side when applying the brakes. Please see this post if you are experiencing a pull to one side when driving at a steady speed.

All modern braking system work by creating friction between brake pads and/or shoes and a metal surface, either a drum (drum brakes) or a rotor (disc brakes). Some vehicles use a combination of disc and drum brakes, and others use only disc brakes. When a combination of braking systems is used, the front brakes are always disc brakes. The clamping force that creates this friction is applied by a hydraulic system that starts with the application of the brake pedal and ends at the wheel assembly. (more…)

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I’m Not Braking, but I Hear a Scraping or Squealing Sound

Have you ever heard a scraping or squealing sound coming from the wheel area of a car when it drives past you in a parking lot? I’m not talking about the high pitched squeal that often occurs when applying the brakes in the morning (when the brake components are all cold) or when slowly coming to a stop. The sound that I am talking about occurs even when the brakes are not being used and sounds more like metal scraping against metal. If you have, most likely the car making the noise is in need of a brake pad replacement. Although there are many things that can cause disc brakes to make odd noises, one of them is actually supposed to happen. Here’s why.

Illustration or a new and worn brake pad with wear indicatorMany of today’s brake pads are equipped with what is called a wear indicator on them. It is a little metal protrusion that is attached to the brake pads backing plate (the metal part of the brake pad that the pad material is bonded or glued to). The wear indicator is sized so that it will make contact with your vehicle’s brake rotor/disc (the part of your brakes that the pads squeeze against to make your car stop) before your pads completely wear out. (more…)

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Steering Wheel Shaking When You’re Braking?

Shaking Steering Wheel When BrakingYour vehicle’s braking system is one of the most important systems in your vehicle. To put it in more simple terms, if it fails… you crash. The good thing is that in most cases you are given fair warning before the system totally fails. Whether it’s a light on your dash, a pull to one side, a grinding noise, a funny smell or an annoying vibration in your seat or steering wheel there will be a symptom letting you know that something is wrong. In this article I am going to discuss the all too familiar vibration or surging that is felt when the brakes are applied. (more…)

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