4 Winter Brake Problems To Watch For To Avoid Winter Driving Disasters

3 November 2017
 Categories: , Blog


If you live an an area of the country that reaches extremely cold temperatures during the winter and/or where roads are covered in snow and ice all winter long, then you likely know that extreme winter conditions can take a toll on your car. However, you may not realize just how much of a toll winter temperatures and conditions can take on your brakes, and of course, it is always important to drive with brakes that are in good condition to ensure you can stop your vehicle in a timely fashion when needed to avoid auto accidents. 

Read on to learn about four common winter brake problems. 

1. Corroded Brake Lines

If you have metal brake lines, also called hydraulic lines, and frequently drive on snowy and/or icy roads that have been treated with salt, then it is important to realize that this salt can take a toll on the entire undercarriage of your automobile, including your brake lines. 

Your brake lines are a very important part of your vehicle's braking system. When you press the brake pedal, pressure is created in your vehicle's master cylinder. This pressure is then transmitted to your brake through your vehicle's brake lines. 

If your metal brake lines experience enough corrosion, they can leak and cause your brakes to fail completely. 

While you can help prevent salt from taking such a toll on your vehicle's brake lines by cleaning the undercarriage of your vehicle regularly during the winter, it is also important to have these lines inspected by a professional on a regular basis to catch corrosion before your brakes fail completely. 

2. Frozen Brake Lines

Even if you don't live in an area of the country where the roads are covered in snow, ice,and salt during the winter, you need to know that your brake lines can also freeze during cold winters. Your brake lines are filled with fluid that cannot freeze. However, other fluids that can freeze, typically water, can enter your brake lines through other components of your braking system. 

When this water freezes, it expands and can rupture the walls of your brake line. This can lead to a slow brake line leak that lead to complete brake failure when you least expect it. 

3. Quickly Corroded Rotors and Brake Pads 

Just as winter salt can corrode your vehicle's brake lines, it can also corrode your car's brake rotors, also called brake discs. Your brake rotors are a very important aspect of your vehicle's braking system, and if you drive with badly corroded rotors, it can lead to brake fluid leaks, cause your brake pistons to stick, and/or lead to complete brake failure. 

Your brake rotors also wear out the more they are used, and when you brake in wet, winter weather conditions, more pressure is applied to the rotors, which can decrease their lifespan. 

In addition, your brake pads can wear out more quickly in the winter due to salt corrosion and/or water entering any cracks in them and freezing. 

4. Brake Shoe Problems

Another important part of your vehicle's braking system, if you have drum brakes, are your brake shoes. Brake shoes help your vehicle stop when you press the brake pedals. Since you need your brakes to stay safe in winter driving conditions more than during any other time of the year, it is important to know that a common sign of brake shoe problems is a vehicle not stopping as quickly as expected when you press on the brake pedals. 

While brake shoe problems can occur during any time of the year, moisture build-up between your brake lining and shoe table can lead to rust developing and causing "rust-jacking" between the two brake elements. This can lead to cracks in these elements of your braking system that need to be repaired before you can drive safely again. 

It is very important to take every step you can to keep your vehicle's brakes in good shape during the winter to avoid catastrophic accidents that could occur if your brakes were to fail on snowy or icy roads. Watch out for signs of brake component problems and have your entire braking system inspected any time you suspect your vehicle is not stopping quickly or you notice any other sign of brake failure. For more information, visit websites like http://www.autorepairhighdesert.com/.