How to Diagnose Brake Problems on a Nissan Frontierby Gregory Crews
Brakes are a very simple system to troubleshoot. In a Nissan Frontier, he brakes start at the master cylinder. When the brake pedal is pressed, the master cylinder sends hydraulic fluid with the help of a brake booster through the brake lines to the caliper. The hydraulic pressure created is what pushes the caliper to the rotor. When you release the pedal, the calipers retracts, letting the rotors spin freely.
Inspect your brake pedal for proper free-play and function. Your brake should engage less than a quarter of the way down. Suppose your pedal appears to have to much free play you will want to examine your master cylinder for any leaks.
Open your hood and inspect the master cylinder. Pop the cap on the master cylinder to check for fluid level. The fluid should be around the fill line. Make sure the fluid is clear. Any color in the brake fluid will indicate the fluid is dirty and should be changed.
Engage the brakes while driving and you will hear a grinding sound. That sound is from your brake pads wearing down. They will need to be replaced.
Remove the wheel and inspect the brake pads. Ensure there is at least 1/4 inch of pad on the shoe. Inspect the rotor for grooves and nicks. The rotor should be smooth front and back.
Inspect your system at start-up if you notice that the "ABS" lights come on. ABS is short for "Anti-lock Braking System." A certified mechanic will need to troubleshoot the Nissan's computer for any fault codes. The codes will indicate any problem areas.
Have a certified mechanic inspect the ABS system, He can hook the Frontier up to a diagnostic machine and look for any fault codes.
Test drive the vehicle. Determine if the pedal feels the same as it did when your purchased the truck. If the pedal feels spongy or does not respond correctly then you might need a brake job.
- Be careful as your testing your stopping power on the vehicle. Learn to downshift and apply the emergency brake in case your pedal is ineffective. Be careful when jacking up the vehicle. Be sure to chock the wheel to prevent rolling.
Items you will need
- Flathead screwdriver