Your car’s brakes are undoubtedly one of its most crucial safety features, which is why they need to be in excellent working condition at all times. While they can fail unexpectedly, there are measures you can take to minimise the chance of this happening, ensuring the safety of yourself, your passengers and those around you.

In this blog, we’ll explore the common causes of brake failure in cars, highlighting issues that every driver should be aware of. From worn brake pads to hydraulic failures, understanding these potential problems can help you recognise warning signs early and take proactive measures to prevent accidents.

No matter how long you’ve been driving, this information is invaluable for ensuring your safety on the road. So, let’s dive in and equip you with the knowledge necessary to keep your brakes and yourself safe and sound while driving.

1. Worn Brake Pads and Rotors

Causes of brake failure, car brake pads.
Auto mechanic holding new and used brake pads at the car service, close-up view

The first and most common cause of brake failure in cars is worn brake pads and rotors. As you use your brakes, the material on the brake pads gradually wears down, which makes them less effective at stopping the car. Similarly, the rotors can become worn or warped, which means they can’t provide as much braking power consistently.

If you ignore warning signs like squealing noises, or if you notice your brakes aren’t working as well as they used to, you may be putting yourself and others in danger. To prevent this, it’s important to regularly check your brakes and replace the pads and rotors when needed. This helps keep your brakes working well and keeps you and your passengers safe while driving.

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2. Brake Fluid Leaks

Causes of brake failure, funnel to pour brake fluid.
Close up photo of orange funnel for oil change in car engine

Another reason for brake malfunction in cars is because of leaks in the brake fluid. This fluid is important because it helps transfer the force from the brake pedal to the brake parts, making sure that you can stop your car effectively.

However, if there are leaks in the brake system, it compromises this hydraulic pressure, which means that your brakes might not work as well or could even stop working altogether. These leaks often happen if there are damaged brake lines, seals, or connections.

If you notice a spongy brake pedal or see fluid under your car, it could mean there’s a leak. It’s essential to spot these leaks early and get them fixed so your brakes continue working properly. If you’re unsure, take them to a car garage so a mechanic can check for you. 

3. Brake System Overheating

Causes of brake failure, brake disc.
Disc brake of the vehicle for repair, in process of new tire replacement. Car brake repairing in garage.Suspension of car for maintenance brakes and shock absorber systems. Replacement of brake pads.

Brake failure can also be caused if the brake system overheats. Excessive heat can degrade the brake components, making them less effective or even fail completely. Hard braking, driving downhill for a long time, or carrying heavy loads can all make your brakes overheat.

When brakes get too hot, the brake fluid can start boiling, which means it can’t transfer hydraulic pressure like it should. Overheating can also lead to brake fade, which means they’ll continue to get worse the longer you use them.

If your brakes are overheating, you might feel the brake pedal get soft or notice that it takes longer to stop. Taking good care of your brakes and not driving too aggressively will help ensure that they function properly for longer.

4. Faulty Brake Components

Causes of brake failure, various car parts.
Close up of set of new car parts on black background

Another common cause of brake failure in cars is when some of the parts in the braking system aren’t working well. Parts like calipers, master cylinders, and brake lines naturally wear out over time or can be faulty due to manufacturing defects.

When these parts don’t work properly, it can cause problems like uneven braking, loss of brake pressure, or complete brake failure. If your brake parts are faulty, you’re likely to notice the brake pedal feeling spongy, the brakes dragging, or strange noises when you brake.

We recommend inspecting your brakes regularly and repairing any parts that are worn out or broken. This will help you ensure the safety and reliability of your brakes for a secure driving experience.

5. Neglected Brake Maintenance

Causes of brake failure, person fixing car brakes.
Mechanical man sitting concentrate use wrench to repair car front tire drum brake pad at the car repair shop

Another major reason why brakes malfunction or fail is because they’re not taken care of properly. If you don’t keep up with regular maintenance of your brakes, it can result in various issues like worn out brake pads, contaminated brake fluid, or rusted brake lines.

When these problems aren’t fixed promptly, they can get worse and eventually cause your brakes to stop working altogether. Neglecting brake maintenance tasks like checking your brake pads, changing the fluid, or replacing worn-out parts makes accidents more likely and puts everyone in the car at risk.

That’s why it’s important to maintain your brakes by addressing potential issues early on. This makes your brake parts last longer and keeps your brakes performing reliably, for safer driving on the road.

To Keep Your Braking System in Good Condition, Choose Online Automotive’s Car Parts

Minimise the risks of brake failure and be aware of unusual sounds or changes. Regularly check all systems and if you spot the need for a replacement, check out our brake parts.

At Online Automotive, we offer a comprehensive selection of high-quality replacement parts, carefully curated to meet your car repair needs. Our competitive prices also ensure that you get the best value for your money.

With expert product descriptions and responsive customer support, we strive to make your shopping experience seamless. Trust us to be your reliable partner in the world of DIY car repairs, ensuring that all your journeys are convenient and hassle-free.

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