Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Minivan sways and brakes fade out

asked by on

I was driving on a 6% downgrade on a highway and applied the brakes three times for about 3-5 seconds each time. This occurred within a 5-minute space of time. The third time I did it the brakes began to badly cavitate. The minivan swayed and the brakes faded out. For several days, the brakes started making a rubbing sound. Also, there is a grinding noise and feel when I apply the brakes when turning. I took the minivan to a dealership and was told that they could not find anything wrong with the brakes. They continued that this type of thing was common for brakes to fade going downhill. They suggested that I downshift to compensate. They could not tell me why the brakes sound like they are grinding when I am turning and they told me that the brakes were fine. I am thinking that the problem might be that the brake rotors are too small for the size of the minivan. They might be heating up too fast and then fade out, plus the rotors begin to warp. I think this could be corrected with enlarging the rotor size and also the brake shoe size since the wheel well has plenty of room in it. Do you agree that this would correct the problem?

A: Hello. You are thinking correctly in terms ...

Hello. You are thinking correctly in terms of improving braking capacity with long downhill scenarios. For simplicity and costs purposes, I would first speak with a professional mechanic, like YourMechanic, about installing high performance brake pads, also making sure that the brake rotors are in good condition first. High performance pads, utilizing materials such as ceramics, work much more effectively at the higher temperatures your vehicle is generating. Changing rotors, calipers, etc., is an expensive exercise that needs specialized expertise. For a second opinion on the car, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the brake system and advise you on the correct repair.

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

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: Minivan rattles and steering wheel vibrates

Steering wheel vibration during turns might be an outer constant velocity joint. The mechanic can check general condition of the engine, even if the engine noises are not present when the vehicle is checked. Check aftermarket automotive suppliers for non-factory...

Q: What does the Brake light mean on the dash?

There are quite a few important lights on the dash of your car, all of which are designed to provide you with vital information about vehicle systems and their operation. The Brake light on the dash should come on briefly...

Q: Noises from the ac 2004 Saturn Vue

Hi there - if the compressor is making rattling or clanking noises this indicates an upcoming failure of the compressor. Yes, it will eventually seize or otherwise fail, possibly breaking the belt when it does. When the compressor fails, bits...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...