While there are several reasons brakes lock up, one is a dragging caliper piston. The friction this causes heats brake fluid and increases the pressure in the brake lines, locking a single wheel. Taking the car for a short drive and then checking the wheels for one that is warmer than the rest is a quick way to check for this problem.Know More
On vehicles with anti-lock brakes, lockups are rare. However, bad pads, calipers or cylinders as well as the master cylinder all cause problems on occasion.
If all the brakes lock simultaneously, the master cylinder is likely the problem. This hydraulic cylinder converts the mechanical force of pushing the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure to move the pads against the rotors. Over time, seals in the master cylinder begin to break down, causing retention of pressure in brake lines. All the pads rub against the rotors and generate heat, increasing the pressure. In turn, the calipers force the pads against the rotors with more force, locking up the vehicle.
According to Popular Mechanics, repairing a master cylinder is the most expensive brake repair. The magazine encourages owners to pay a few dollars more to replace calipers and rotors, for the peace of mind that their brake problems are in the past for several years.Learn more about Brakes
Car brakes overheat for various reasons, including as a result of riding the brake and applying excessive force to or overusing the brakes. When brakes overheat on a regular basis, hardened spots can develop on the brake drums or the rotors. These "hot spots" resist friction, causing brake failure.Full Answer >
The common causes of pulsating car brakes can include the Antibrake System (ABS), a poorly installed wheel or a warped rotor. In fact, pulsating car brakes is a common complaint regarding ABS brakes when the ABS system kicks in. This usually happens when braking on ice, wet roads, or gravel.Full Answer >
To bleed the brakes on a car, support the car with jacks, remove the wheels, and connect the clear tubing to the bleeder valve. Pump the brake pedal thrice, hold the pedal down, open the bleeder valve to release the brake fluid and air, and repeat the process to your satisfaction.Full Answer >
Having a car vibrate when the brakes are applied is a common problem for many car owners. Most of the time, this is a result of the front brakes being worn out, which is usually due to warping.Full Answer >