Common Brake System Repairs - Service Information at Mike Shaw Subaru

Depending on how old your car is and what kind of brakes it's equipped with, you may need to replace your brake pads, brake shoes, brake rotors or brake drums from time to time. These parts are considered "wearable parts" -- that means they're designed to last only so long before being replaced. We've covered those parts extensively elsewhere on our site. But what about when something goes wrong with the major components of your car's braking system? It's important to know the signs and symptoms that come with brake failure, so you don't find yourself in a dangerous situation with brakes that aren't working right! Discover the five most common brake system repairs we carry out at the Mike Shaw Subaru service center below.

The brake master cylinder features a reservoir for brake fluid and it's the centerpiece of the braking system

5. Leaking Master Cylinder

When you press the brake pedal, the brake master cylinder turns the motion of the pedal into hydraulic pressure at the wheels through the brake fluid in the brake lines. The master cylinder also contains much of the brake fluid in the system. If it leaks, it can lead to major braking problems. For instance, if the master cylinder can no longer maintain pressure throughout the braking system, the brake pedal may feel mushy and soft when pressed, or might sink all the way to the floor. And if it's leaking brake fluid, you'll want to have the master cylinder repaired or replaced right away. If enough brake fluid leaks out of the system your brakes will stop working!

A technician is capturing old brake fluid from the system before refilling it with fresh brake fluid

4. Failed Brake Booster

The brake booster is also responsible for helping provide powerful braking force, even as you gently press the brake pedal. Using vacuum pressure, the brake booster increases the amount of force generated in the system when your brake. If this component becomes broken, you won't get the assistance you expect when braking, and the pedal may become hard and difficult to press. It may even become difficult to get the stopping power you require for safe driving! A vacuum leak can even cause engine problems as the leaking brake booster draws too much vacuum from the engine. In some cases, this can suffocate the engine and lead to sputtering, stalling and even misfiring.

A technician is removing this brake caliper so it can be serviced

2. Frozen Brake Caliper

A lack of brake fluid can cause your car's brakes to stop working -- but the brakes themselves can just plain get stuck, too. If one of your brakes becomes frozen shut, you'll experience very poor performance and fuel economy as the brake on that wheel will be activated at all times. This is called a dragging brake caliper.

Or, if you notice that your car dives to the left or right when you brake, it could be due to a brake caliper that isn't activating at all. That could be due to frozen caliper pins, or a lack of brake fluid. To be sure, our recommendation is always to trust the factory trained professionals at your local Subaru dealership service center.

1. ABS Warning Light

Finally, if your car throws an ABS warning light, it's important to know what's gone wrong. For one, you should know that your brakes will continue to work like normal under most circumstances. However, if your brakes lock up, the system likely won't intervene like it should, and you could go into a dangerous slide. This is especially a concern in poor weather and when braking hard to avoid a collision.

When it's working correctly, the ABS system detects when a wheel or wheels have locked up, and rapidly pulses the brake on and off at that wheel. This allows the wheel to rotate, preventing you from skidding, while also bringing you quickly to a stop. If the ABS warning light is on, that won't happen. Take care not to brake so hard that your wheels lock up and make your way to the Mike Shaw Subaru service center for a fix.

No matter what's gone wrong with your brakes, we can get it fixed at Mike Shaw Subaru. And when we do, we'll use genuine OEM parts and Subaru-approved tools, fluids and procedures. Nobody takes better care of your Subaru in the Denver area!

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  1. Mike Shaw Subaru

    1650 W 104th Avenue
    Thornton, CO 80234

    • Sales: (888) 472-4482

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Map data ©2019

Mike Shaw Subaru

1650 W 104th Avenue
Directions Thornton, CO 80234

  • Sales: 720-724-9280
  • Service: 303-729-2683
  • Parts: 720-728-0862