Brake Fault Diagnosis

Brake Fault Diagnosis

As Canada’s No 1 Brake Specialists, Auto Magic believes the more you know and understand about your Braking system the safer you will be.

Here are some common problems that should warrant your immediate attention. Failure do so may cause further damage, breakdown or an accident.

This is a limited list, each circumstance may be different and on most items true diagnosis can only be made on physical inspection of your vehicle by a qualified professional. You can book our free 49 point safety check or a comprehensive 97 point check for $35 at your convenient Auto Magic location.


Always have your brakes checked and properly diagnosed by experts

Take care with home servicing of your car’s brakes because you cannot afford to make mistakes. Obtain the correct advice from Auto Magic first

Auto Magic sell quality parts to suit any vehicle any where

Ensure your car’s brakes are checked each time you have your car serviced

Service Vehicles

Why not have your car serviced at Auto Magic where we offer you full manufacturers handbook service for your car.

In that way you will have your brakes, clutch, suspension and steering, tyres and mechanicals checked by professionals every time.

You will find Auto Magic will more than likely save you time and money with the correct advice and service.

Tires and Tire Pressure

Please make sure that your tires are the same type, size (most cars) and tread pattern on front and rear, are rotating in the right direction, are roadworthy with at least 2.5 mm tread across the width of the whole tire with no bald spots, have no sidewall damage and inflated to the correct pressure.

We recommend at least 32psi (unless manufacturer suggests higher) when tires are cold, front and rear for passenger vehicles. This will improve your handling, conserve fuel, increase tire life, decrease chance of a blow-out and decrease your stopping distance especially in the wet. We recommend that you check your tire pressure once a month.

Also make sure your wheels are not damaged, all wheel nuts are tightened and your tires and wheels are regularly balanced and rotated.

Brake Fault Diagnosis

The Following Fault diagnosis provides some professional insight into fault diagnosis of brake systems and components. Some brake repairs require specialist equipment, knowledge and experience.

Always obtain a professional system check by Auto Magic Auto Brake Service to be sure you are safe and that your problem is correctly diagnosed. Also make sure that your rear stoplights are working and replace blown light bulbs as necessary.

Brake Warning Light On

  • Fault in braking system
  • This may be caused by a leak or lack of fluid or faulty master cylinder or servo, which will render your brakes not fully functional. Do not drive the vehicle, as it could be dangerous.
  • It could also be a faulty sensor or electrical fault.
  • Fill up the brake fluid reservoir, check for leaks, normal brake pedal operation and call Auto Magic for professional assistance.

ABS Warning Light On (where fitted)

  • Fault in the ABS Braking system. (where fitted)
  • Your brakes should work but there will be no ABS operation. So if you brake hard your wheels may lock up.
  • ABS systems are complex and can only be repaired by professionals. Call Auto Magic ASAP to get the fault rectified.

Brake Fade

  • Incorrect or distorted or heat effected linings / Overloaded Vehicle / Rear Brakes not working properly
  • Renew Pads or shoes. Decrease vehicle load. Inspect System.

Spongy Pedal

  • Air in System / Distorted or faulty linings
  • Check for air & bleed if necessary. Check linings & Master Cylinder

Long Pedal Travel

  • Loose or worn Bearings / Disc Run Out / Drum Brakes need adjustment / Fluid leak
  • Check and replace components as necessary (Fluid, Rubbers, Servo) Check & adjust clearances, hub / disk mounting / filler cap vent

Brakes Binding

  • Handbrake maladjusted / Seized Caliper Pistons
  • Check adjustment, cable / Check for seized pistons and weak shoe springs / Repair or replace worn parts.

Hard Pedal

  • Poor Braking caused by incorrect or glazed linings / Servo inoperative / seized Caliper pistons / faulty Master Cylinder / Poorly bedded in linings
  • Check & renew parts as necessary, check hoses for obstruction.

Weak or ineffective handbrake

  • Your handbrake should not require more than 5 clicks to hold your car on a steep road.
  • Handbrake cable may need adjusting or replacement
  • Worn rear brake pads or faulty rear brakes

Master Cylinder Leakage or Failure

  • Check for fluid contamination, reseal or replace

Brakes Pulling or locking up

  • Faulty drum or Disc / Unsuitable Tire pressure / Worn Linings / Seized Caliper Pistons
  • Check and renew worn parts. Check Tires, Suspension, Steering and Shock absorbers

Fall in Brake fluid Level

  • Worn pads / Brake fluid leak in calipers, brake cylinders hoses and connections
  • Top up fluid level & Check and replace linings, hoses and other parts as necessary
  • Leaks in Brake calipers, wheel cylinders hoses and connections
  • Replace and tighten where necessary

Brake Squeal

  • Worn retaining pins / No pad dampening shims / incorrect pads
  • Renew components / fit correct pads

Loss of pedal

  • Master Cylinder failure / Burst pipe or hose / Fluid seal leak / Overheated or vaporized Brake Fluid / Excessive Brake usage
  • Fit new Components. Change Brake Fluid. Up Grade System

Pedal Flutter (pulsing pedal)

  • Distorted discs or oval drums
  • Renew worn discs and drums

Brake Pads worn smooth but thickness varies

  • Check Caliper operation. Check pad corrosion. Check retaining springs
  • Replace and service all effected components not just the pads
  • Check condition of disc
  • Replace and Machine or replaced as necessary

Brake Pad Glazed or bluing apparent

  • Pad has probably overheated
  • Remove and Replace

Caliper piston stuck or uneven operation

  • Corroded or worn Caliper slides
  • Overhaul Caliper. Reseal as necessary
  • Always replace pads or shoes in pairs (To all wheels on the same axial)
  • Always have you Brake fluid flushed and replaced every 12 months or 20,000 KM’s
  • Always bleed the brake system after any repairs to displace any air in the system
  • Always take care with Brake Fluid as it is highly corrosive and will damage painted surfaces and allow rust to form.
  • Always check rubbers and hoses to ensure they are tight and leak free. Replace at recommended intervals as leaking or porous materials will allow air and moisture into your brake fluid which will reduce performance and safety to dangerous levels