Brakes

Brakes are among the auto parts that are rarely thought about unless something is wrong. There are a number of different brake problems that can arise, so learn all about brake repair, parts and conversion.


Did you ever notice that your brake lines don't resemble a straight line at all? Find out why your brakes are made with all those bends and loops.

Uh-oh, your brake warning light just came on. Are you doomed to brake failure now? Learn what that little light means and how to know what it's telling you to do.

Putting your car in park ensures that you won't roll down that hill. Have you ever wondered exactly how it's connected to your transmission to keep it from spinning? Find out!

Wouldn't it be nice to get some warning before a tire went completely flat? Good news -- anti-lock brakes could make it possible. But how?

Do you know what separates DOT3 and DOT4 from DOT5? Learn the chemical properties of brake fluid types and how they affect your ability to stop your car.

Whether you're a tuner-car enthusiast looking to make your WRX drift-ready or an average Joe looking to tweak the safety and performance of your beloved '68 F-150, a disc brake conversion is actually the first modification you should consider.

You love your car. Oh, do you love your car. But maybe it's time for a change. Nothing drastic; nothing expensive. Just the car equivalent of a manicure -- a new flash of color for your faithful friend. You're going to paint the brake calipers.

When you press the brake pedal in your car, you expect your brakes to work. But what if they didn't? If you've ever been in a vehicle that did not stop, you know the sheer terror that brake failure can cause.

That pedestrian should not have stepped off the curb. Clearly, she doesn't see you. You hit the brakes, and she jumps back. Problem solved -- except that high squealing sound doesn't seem to be coming from the pedestrian. It's coming from your car.

Ever wondered what the sign "No Engine Brake" on the side of the highway means? Well, it applies to trucks -- big trucks. A truck's engine brake is known as their brake system.

Most pickup drivers want to be able to haul lots of stuff -- why else would you want a pickup truck, right? But there is a limit to how much you should carry. Overloading a truck can change how it steers and brakes.

Squeaky brakes can panic a driver, as brakes are arguably the most important safety feature in automobiles. Sometimes the concern is warranted, as the brakes are going bad. Other times, however, there may be nothing wrong at all.

Engine brakes are used in heavy duty and commercial vehicles to increase speed control. You may recognize the loud blatting sound they make. But despite the noise, engine brakes reduce the occurrence of brake failure.

You're speeding over a patch of black ice or wet leaves when suddenly you try to stop -- and nothing happens. Instinct tells you to slam on the brakes, but that will just cause them to lock up, leaving you sliding down the street. What should you do?

If the term "bleeding brakes" conjures up images of a clean, contented person stepping on a brake pedal while another grumpy, dirty, frustrated person yells, "Push down!" from under the car, your image would be correct.

It's your first time behind the wheel of a stick shift. You reach a stop sign on a hill and break into a cold sweat. But then your father reaches over and pulls the emergency brake. You immediately feel safe, but what's holding you in place?

If your brake pedal feels a little soft or squishy, then there's a good chance that you have air in your brake lines. But how could air possibly get into a sealed hydraulic brake system?

Have you ever had to add brake fluid to your vehicle's master cylinder? Did you ever stop to think, why am I adding to a system that supposedly doesn't consume the fluid I pour in?

Changing the brake pads on your car or truck sounds like a difficult task -- but when you find out how simple it is, you'll wonder why you haven't been doing it yourself all along.

Getting stuck behind a car with malfunctioning brake lights can be extremely frustrating. But before sounding your horn, consider that the driver might not even realize that his brakes lights are out.

The function of a brake caliper is relatively clear -- the caliper forces the brake pads against the rotor to slow or stop the vehicle. But what specific type of caliper does your vehicle need?

The next time you slam on your brakes to avoid hitting a cat in the road, you should thank your car's backing plates. These automotive apparatuses keep the entire braking system functioning.

It's probably a safe bet that every driver on the road knows that their vehicle needs brakes to slow down or stop. But how many know that they have a choice of brake pad material?

Most drivers know the brakes on their vehicle have to be properly maintained to remain functional. But how many know that they can select new brake rotors based on the type of driving they do?

After a night of partying, you drive home and sneak the car in the garage. The only thing that could give you away: noisy brakes. You'll need brake shims to avoid being grounded.