We had a Volvo in a while back and when I drove the car into the shop I noticed that the brake pedal was very difficult to operate as there was no power assist for the brake system. I did a quick visual inspection and found a portion of the brake vacuum tubing damaged. Engine vacuum is a critical component in making your brakes work properly, and with this damaged line, there was quite a bit more foot effort required to stop the car. We asked the owner about this and found that the car had been to another shop and quite a bit of work had been done in an attempt to fix this to no avail. The next recommendation was to replace the brake rotors as it was felt that the rotors were glazed.
Other common issues of carelessness we see:
- Sliding parts that don't get cleaned and lubricated. These parts are much more likely to seize and cause premature brake failure.
- Brake pads and don't move easily on the pad bracket, causing brakes to drag.
- Cheap rotors with too much lateral runout (side to side movement) which causes brake pedal pulsation several thousand miles later.
- Brake caliper dust boots that aren't returned to their proper position when pushing the piston back into the caliper. The boot then gets caught between the piston and the brake pad and gets torn. Moisture gets inside and causes the piston to rust and the caliper to seize.