Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Brakes bad and car running rough

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car stopped while I was driving it; Check engine light is also on.

Have your computer checked to see if there is any pending or stored codes. This will lead you to a location on the engine for troubleshooting. There are many symptoms that can contribute to a stalling and no start condition...

Q: When refilling gas tank, gas overflows before tank is full.

The most common cause of this type of problem is when the fuel filler neck's inner tube comes off of the neck itself. You will need to have the filler neck removed to check to see if the inner tube...

Q: Front brakes drag

In order to locate the possible cause of your front brakes dragging, you will need to do some tests to isolate the cause. When you are testing the system brakes dragging the lift and support, check both front wheels to...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.