Owning a Car: What Newbies Need to Know

STOP! Putting The Brakes On Two Cold Weather Brake Issues

by Avery Ellis

Whether your ABS light has started to flicker or you are hearing the telltale sound of squealing when the rotors turn, brake problems are usually pretty easy to diagnose. What you may not know is that just like many other components in your vehicle, the brakes can be dramatically impacted by cold weather. When the temperature starts to drop, make sure you take some time to familiarize yourself with common cold weather brake problems that you could be facing before it is all said and done.

Problem: After the first big snow, your ABS light comes on for no apparent reason.

Cause: One or more ABS tracking system sensor is blocked.

Solution: That handy-dandy little light you have that tells you when your anti-lock brakes are having an issue boasts connected sensors on the inside of the wheels of your vehicle. If after the first big snow of the year you find your light to be illuminated, there is a good chance the sensor has become caked with mud or ice.

To check for a problem, your wheels will have to be removed and each sensor cleaned thoroughly to dislodge any type of blockage that may be getting in the way. Keep in mind that it is not possible to see the sensor blockage fully unless the wheel is removed.

Problem: Squeaking and grinding even though your brakes are fairly new.

Cause: Debris between the brake roads and rotors.

Solution: When you take your vehicle out in the cold after a snow, all of that ugly slush and grime gets splattered onto the undercarriage of your vehicle. This sludge contains a lot of sticky grime that gets left behind on the road and can easily make its way into the brake pad areas of your car.

Use a high-pressure air hose to blow away as much debris as possible and clean the area with a good water hose. If the issue is to big, it is a good idea to take each wheel off and clean the brake and rotor area thoroughly to prevent braking issues.

Any good automobile owner will tell you that winter weather and the cold means a whole new set of rules for taking care of your car or truck. This is even true when it comes to the brakes of your vehicle. Make sure you know what to look for as indication of brake issues and take appropriate measures to resolve anything you find as quickly as possible with the right auto parts and fixes.