How to Diagnose Grabbing Brakes

by Contributor

Brakes should work smoothly and evenly when you press on your brake pedal. Brakes that grab, drag, or become pulsating, generally mean parts are not working correctly. Learn what causes brakes to grab, an important step to diagnose grabbing brakes.

Inspect your brake discs, because your vehicle may grab suddenly when one or both brake discs wear out. On some cars, you can do this without removing the wheels. Alloy wheels with holes in the middle, for example, allow you to see through the spaces to examine the disc and brake pads.

Examine your brake pads. Damaged pads could cause an auto to pull to one side when applying brakes. In this case, replace them by taking off the wheel, removing the two bolts that hold the caliper, removing the worn out brake pads, pressing together the brake piston and putting the caliper back on.

Check for scoring on your brake rotors. Scoring refers to intense scratching or grooves, a situation that could cause brake-related problems such as grabbing. Badly scored rotors result in binding. Simply stated, binding cause wheels to slow improperly, a condition that could prevent your vehicle from stopping in a straight line. In an extreme case, your brakes could fail.

Tip

  • check Think safety when diagnosing any car challenge. For instance, slightly loosen lug bolts while the vehicle is on the ground and before jacking it up. This process proves easier on the ground--a firm surface. Avoid removing these bolts before jacking up the vehicle.

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