Troubleshooting your brakes on a GMC Sierra is a simple process. The brake system is a vacuum-controlled system that sends fluid through the brake lines and to the calipers. The fluid is what pushes the caliper to the rotor to make it stop. If this system has a leak in fluid, you will lose pressure, making it difficult to stop.
Troubleshooting for Brake Pads and Rotor Damage
Drive the GMC Sierra to determine the cause of the problem. Listen for grinding when making a stop. Grinding is a warning sign that your brake pads are going bald. When coming to a stop and you feel a vibration, it indicates rotor damage. These signs may tell you that a front end job is in order. Have that inspected as soon as possible. The brake shoes and rotors are simple to replace and could prevent an expensive repair bill down the line.
Remove the front wheel and inspect the axle assembly. Look at the caliper and you will notice the brake pads touching the rotor. Visualize how much of the pad is left. You can replace the pad if there is less than 3/16 inch of pad left. Feel your rotor to ensure it is a flat and smooth surface. If you feel grooves in the rotor, the rotor is ready to be replaced or turned. Inspect all wheels with disc brakes
Inspecting for Loss of Hydraulic Pressure
Crank up your truck and have a partner standing by. Have your partner press down on the brake pedal while you inspect the calipers, and the brake line for any fluid coming out. Check around the master cylinder as well. The master cylinder is the component that holds your brake fluid. If you are losing pressure in your brake pedal and you're not seeing any leaking around the caliper or throughout the line, it indicates a faulty brake booster. The brake booster magnifies your pedal, making it easier for you to apply the brakes.You'll need a special vacuum tool to troubleshoot.
The master cylinder can also cause issues if it is losing fluid. The brake fluid is stored in the master cylinder, which must be replaced if there's a leak.
Even though your brakes are in a closed system, you may experience contaminated brake fluid. Inspect the brake fluid; it should be clear. If it appears cloudy or dark, you may have to replace it. Contaminated brake fluid can be the cause of serious brake malfunctions. Also check the fluid level in the master cylinder. The fluid should be between the marked areas.
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