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?

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Minivan sways and brakes fade out

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: Radiator fan is not turning on

Once the relay and fuse have been checked and are working, the next thing to check is the controller for the fans that determines which fans operate and at what speed. There are several inputs to this controller: coolant temperature,...

Q: What does the Brake Fluid Low message mean?

The Brake Fluid Low message can appear on your driver information center (DIC). When the DIC displays this alert, then your vehicle has detected that the fluid in your brake system is low. The brake system should be serviced as...

Q: Saturn Vue 2006 exhaust leak in manifold

Hi there. An exhaust leak can be very tricky - depending on the location of the actual leak. If it is leaking near the exhaust manifold or the cylinder head, the potential for internal engine damage increases. In regards 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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...