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Q: Why are my brakes failing?

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My car is a 2012 Ford F-150 XLT 3.7L V6, automatic transmission, with 32k miles. I use it on long drives and also short trips to the store. I was going to buy some groceries, jumped inside the truck, pulled out from my driveway, and then I decided to check the mail before going on the highway. That's when the issue happened. The engine stopped, the steering wheel got very stiff, and the brakes locked. I couldn't press the brake pedal down, no matter how hard I tried. I was only going 5 mph, so I just drive into the curb and let the truck stop on its own. I'm glad I didn't have this happen on the highway. What's wrong with the car, though?

A: To diagnose this problem YourMechanic would...

To diagnose this problem YourMechanic would have to first do a basic check for any problems with your vehicle. They would check for any Check Engine Lights on, engine running disorders like a misfiring cylinder, or rough running from possible vacuum leaks. A diagnostic scan for any codes would have to be done to make sure this was not caused by a malfunction of a component. If any codes are found then a diagnostic check for the codes would have to be done to conclusion before proceeding. If no codes were found and this problem was a one time occurrence, they would check on basic maintenance items like fuel and air filters along with oil. If this only occurs after the vehicle sits for a while, then you may have fuel contamination with excessive water. When first started the engine would get the water that settled in the bottom of fuel and could cause an engine stall, rough running or hesitation. My recommendation would be to contact YourMechanic and have a diagnostic done to rule out any problems and take a fuel sample to check for excessive water. To check for water in the fuel, the test should be done first thing in the morning before starting the engine at which point it would have the most water in it. Depending on the fuel sample YourMechanic can determine a course of action to take to remove the excessive water. This procedure may include adding an additive or draining of the fuel tank.

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