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The Essentials of Checking and Maintaining Your Vehicle's Brakes

An automobile's braking system, whether it uses disc brakes or drum brakes, is the most important part of a vehicle. A car that can't start is an inconvenience; a car that can't stop is downright dangerous. For some brake problems, you need professional help, but checking your brakes for problems, filling the brake fluid, and bleeding brake lines are simple tasks that almost anyone can do to save repair costs.

How to Troubleshoot Brake Problems

To check for brake problems, you step on the pedal and press it down while paying attention to how the pedal feels under your foot and evaluating the sensation. The following steps tell you what to feel [more…]

How to Check Disc Brakes

You should check disc brakes and disc brake linings every 10,000 miles — more often if your brakes suddenly start to squeal or pull to one side, or if your brake pedal flutters when you step on it. Don’t [more…]

How to Check Drum Brakes

You have to remove a bunch of stuff to get to a drum brake. The steps here explain how to check drum brakes and what to look for when you finally get to them. Follow these steps to check drum brakes: [more…]

How to Reassemble a Drum Brake

After you finish inspecting your drum brakes, you’re ready to reassemble them. Refer to this diagram of a drum brake to make sure that you get everything back in the proper order and direction. The following [more…]

How to Check Your Brake System's Master Cylinder

Essentially, when you check your master cylinder, you’re making sure that you have enough brake fluid, which is stored in the master cylinder. When you step on the brake pedal, fluid goes from the master [more…]

How to Check Your Brake Lines

If the fluid level in your master cylinder remains full, you don’t need to check your brake lines. However, if you’re losing brake fluid, you need to check for a leak in the wheel cylinders or the brake [more…]

How to Change Your Brake Fluid

You should flush and replace the brake fluid in your brake system every two years. You can change your own brake fluid, but service facilities now do this with brake flushing machines. If you find have [more…]

How to Bleed Your Brakes

If your vehicle has squishy-feeling brakes, the way to get the air out of the lines is to bleed the brakes. To do the job, you need either a brake bleeder wrench or a combination wrench that fits the bleeder [more…]

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