Common Problems With DIY Brake Jobs in Trucks

Since trucks are usually much heavier than family sedans, their brakes often suffer more wear and tear; a truck's brakes are stopping far more weight than those on a small car, so they need to work harder and may get worn down more easily than a car's brakes. In turn, you may suffer more brake problems when you drive a truck than a car, and may tackle those problems on your own, to save money and get the repairs done quickly. However, you might be overlooking some common mistakes made by any DIY truck repairs enthusiast when it comes to a truck's brakes, so note a few troubleshooting tips for problems you might have after the brake job is done.

Overheating brakes, dragging brakes

If the brakes overheat or don't seem to release fully when you let up on the brake pedal, this may be caused by an overfilled master cylinder. The master cylinder holds brake fluid that is used to create pressure in the brake lines. If it's overfilled, that fluid cannot run back to the cylinder when you let off the brake pedal, and the brakes stay engaged. If you fill your own master cylinder when doing repairs, you may not realize there is a fill line on the inside and that filling it past this line is not a good thing; check your fluid levels and bleed some out if the master cylinder is overly full.

Truck pulls to one side 

If your truck pulls to one side, and you know your truck has new brake pads that are not worn down on any one side, it may be that the pads have residual oil or another material on them. It's not unusual for a DIY repair enthusiast to either clean the pads with an oily substance before installing, them or use an oily rag to clean them. Any residual oil will mean the pads can't stick properly to the rotor and stop the wheel from turning. It's good to take the brakes apart and clean the pads with a fresh shop rag and note if that fixes the problem.

Not enough braking

If your truck doesn't brake properly, it may be that you used brake pads and other parts that are undersized for your truck in particular; this is a common problem when you don't add in the weight of a trailer or items you regularly store in the bed of the truck when choosing brake pads. Upgrade to something meant for more weight and this may give you the stopping power you need.