When it comes to auto repair, it’s important to take those extra steps.
This can be eye opening and help technicians track down the root cause of a problem.
We worked on braking system of two vehicles – a Ford Escape and a Ford F150 – that had the same symptom and resolution.
The driver of one of the vehicles said the brakes were sticking. Meanwhile, the owner of the other felt that they’re vehicle was shifting and braking funny.
During the test drive, we experienced similar situations – when they were shifted into drive they wouldn’t go anywhere, as if the driver’s foot is barely touching the brake.
On the Ford Escape, the front left would nose dive. It felt like the rear on the right side wanted to come out from underneath, because the brake pressure was going to the left front.
The same issue was occurring to the F150 on the other side.
How we addressed the braking system problem
To determine the problem, one of our employees sat in the vehicle and stepped on the brake pedal and we cracked the bleeder on the caliper to check the flow.
For both vehicles, we had little or no flow on the side that was experiencing the issue.
There are a few components involved in the flow – the caliper, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) pump, and the brake hose. The most common issue is with the brake hose.
We removed the caliper and depressed it to confirm it wasn’t bad. When it was off the vehicle, the caliper worked fine. However, attached, it was as hard as concrete and wouldn’t let anything through.
The brake hose on the vehicles were replaced, and the vehicles are driving fine.
One of the employees took the extra step and cut the brake line into pieces and dissected it. Through this process, he learned that the crip fitting was swollen and closed up.
Overtime, the brake hose gets a little bit hotter when pieces of metal are around it and slowly deteriorates.
A lot of people would have noticed the caliper wasn’t working and just sold calipers without isolating the problem. We did recommend calipers because the amount of heat can shorten their lifespan.
We leave the choice in the hands of our customers. Our goal is to provide as much information to help them make an educated decision.
Can you prevent this problem?
You can’t do anything to prevent this problem, it’s just the way the vehicle is designed. You need to have the metal brackets to hold the hose in place. With that amount of hydraulic pressure, the hose would move back and forth and rupture.
You can maintain your braking system through brake fluid exchanges. This service can always help, but some of these things are inevitable.
We recommend brake fluid exchanges every 30,000 miles. You can learn about why you should have the fluid replaced by reading this article we wrote.
The same car problem can come across differently to drivers. If your vehicle sounds or is acting strange, make sure to provide as much information to the mechanic or repair shop as possible. Those little details can help narrow down the search.
HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.