Common Brake Problems in Cars: How to fix them?

Some problems require immediate attention. If they are sorted out in time, they could be life-saving. For instance, if your girlfriend says she is hungry, it requires instant attention. Similarly, if your car is showing you signs of common brake problems, you need to take notice of those as well. Because, if you failed to stop by your girlfriend’s favorite food place, you could not blame the failing brakes. The brakes showed you the red flags. You need to repair car brakes immediately, not just for your girlfriend’s favorite food restaurant but also for the sake of safety.

That is the key advice. Even if you don’t have a girlfriend, your car brakes still need your attention because your life quite literally depends on them. 

Many times, we see car accidents occurring due to failed brakes. It’s not like brakes fail to function all of a sudden, and they show significant signs and symptoms of being out of order. 

Symptoms of Brakes not Working to their Potential

There are numerous indications and red flags that brakes show before ultimately disappointing the driver and the riders in the cars. Sudden failure of breaks can prove fatal. Thus, it is essential to provide social care to brake systems and work on making them function finely once you notice something out of the routine.

Here are a few common brakes problems that are symptoms of your car’s decreasing health. 

Lose Brake Pedal

Did you ever hit someone’s car from behind because your car’s brake pedal sank too deep to the floor or felt lost? Well, it is called a spongy brake pedal. If you have escaped narrowly from such a situation, it might be Providence giving you another chance. Therefore, you need to utilize this chance and do something about it.

If the brake pedal has become soft, then it means that the master cylinder is leaking. The leak might be internal or external. The master cylinder is an essential aspect of the brake system, and it spreads out a fluid that exerts pressure against a rotor helping the car to halt at a given position or time. 

What can you do about it? It varies from car to car. Our advice would be that you check your car’s manual to understand the problem first. Your brake cylinder might be leaking from inside or bleeding out externally. 

It is better to let a professional person do it for you. Do not drive your car with soft pedals. You may check for a fact to learn whether the master cylinder is leaking from the outside. If you look below the mat, under your dash, and find it greased, it means that the master brake system is leaking externally. 

Other causes of soft or spongy brake pedals are: 

  • Air in the brake lines
  • Damaged/leaking brake system 
  • A malfunction in the hydraulic ABS modulator.

Invite a trusted mechanic to look over your car if you are experiencing even a slight symptom of your brake working only too close to the vehicle’s floor.

Noise making Brakes

If your car’s brakes make screeching and squealing noises, just as you apply them, you are probably hurting them, and they are shouting their grief out.

Either the brake pads you are using have outlived their life expectancy and can no more cooperate, or they are not lubricated well enough. 

Here you can fix it yourself by applying lubricants to the brakes’ pads and other components of brakes, including the rotors, caliper bolts, and pistons. If your performance didn’t work well, call the first-aid mechanic, and they will sort it out. 

Brakes making these high-pitched noises are that they have become thinner with the extensive usage of them and are completely worn out. But if it’s the new brakes making unwanted noises, the car needs to be inspected. 

See more: How To Bleed Brakes

The steering wheel not helping the car move as directed

An almost failing brake system may give out the last cry for help by not heeding to the steering wheel. A frozen caliper can cause brakes to work on their own accord.

There is a dust boot on top of the calipers—the boot helps in keeping away the debris from reaching them. But I’d get torn, the dust and other particles penetrate, causing the caliper’s piston to get stuck in the bore. Metals are quite susceptible to such happenings, and thus the calipers freeze due to the immovable piston. No matter how much you put, the pressure is insufficient to press the piston into its bore. Consequently, the brake pads on which you are exerting pressure are unable to distribute it evenly. So, the car pulls to one side more despite trying to park or drive it in a disciplined manner.

Moreover, collapsed brake hose and slide pin issues in the brake system might infer routine brake work.

But if your car’s brakes are excellent, then the issue may lie with 

  • Tyre Air Pressure 
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Suspension or a part of a steering 

The burning smell when you apply brakes

Do you start to sense a burning odor after having applied breaks a bit too harshly? Or too consistently?

Probably, the brakes become overheated. Pill your car offside the road. There might have been a brake caliper malfunction. Your car tires would be exuding smoke and burning fumes. If you are away from some human settlement, then you may let the car cool on its own and drive to the nearest mechanic as soon as possible.

Stiff Brake Pedal:

Unlike the soft brake pedal, the stiff brake pedal is when they want to go down and stay where they were despite trying to push the brakes. 

All this obstinacy is because of the brake booster! What happens is that a vacuum hose helps the brake booster to enable smooth transfer of pressure onto the pedals, which could then go down applying the brakes. However, when the vacuum hose is detached or broken from the booster, the brakes become stiff.

This happens due to negligence or the absent-mindedness of the driver. Such ignorance can lead to the crashing of the car and massive accidents. Therefore it is vital to get your car brakes checked and inspected once in a while.

Repair Services

Many problems can cause your car brakes to go out of order. Therefore, routine maintenance and services are essential. These days many repair services are present at your help if you suffer any such situations. Be it the clogged pistons or the squeaky noises of the brakes. In every street, there is a mechanic with a garage of their own. But you must choose the ones that are best suited and filled with proficiency. Selecting a good caretaker for a car is like choosing the best doctor for yourself, who could diagnose and treat you rightly from day one, charging you justly.


Remember that bad brakes can cause the cars to careen down a slippery and steep road.  One person’s negligence can result in the misery of many. Luck can give you a slight edge sometimes, but one cannot survive on strokes of luck only. There have been many instances where bad brakes have led to massive collisions. Even if one does not cause a huge accident, a failed brake system will put you the facilitator of a potent accident. Keeping in mind these things, one should consider taking professional help when such problems occur.  Go to a good shop, and get the brakes inspected. Even if you find no signals of them getting damaged, a regular check-up helps in reducing the chances of any potential harm or harmful condition for the brakes. Early detection helps in controlling the problems and managing them on time. This would save one money in the long run. Above all, it will keep his life or life.  

Hence, it is essential to make appointments for your car at service stations and avail of all these services.