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Q: Brakes bad and car running rough

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My brakes seem to be failing. I have to apply a lot of pressure to stop my car. The brake pedal is hard to press as well. In addition, my Check Engine light is on, my engine seems to have lost some of it power, and my car rumbles and shakes while idling. Sometimes the car stalls and when at a red light, the car moves forward in a jerking motion when I press the gas.

A: Hi, the first thing to do is to figure out ...

Hi, the first thing to do is to figure out why the Check Engine light is on. A certified technician will be able to hook up a computer to the car which will read the DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) which is what causes the light to illuminate. Once we have that code, it will help with the diagnosis of the vehicle. This sounds like you have a vacuum leak somewhere in the engine though, not the brakes failing. Modern cars have Power Brakes, in which we use the vacuum of the engine to assist the driver in applying the brakes. Without the correct amount of vacuum the Power Assist won’t be able to help out as much in applying the brakes. The other issues you mentioned will also happen when the engine’s vacuum is not at the correct level. Have a certified technician inspect why your Check Engine Light is on and also pull the DTC code to help further diagnose the issue.

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