- Category: tips
- Written by Adam
Stopping your car is critical, especially when you just had a bunch of work done and you don't want to rear-end someone. Or, maybe because you don't want to die. Simple things. Well, the GTO had a hard time stopping. I've known this for a while (years) and have really done nothing about it. But, now that I want to actually drive the car, the brakes needed some paying attention to. So how did I know there was an issue? What are the symptoms in an older, hydraulic-based, drum brake system that indicated your brakes may need bleeding?
Signs your brakes might need bleeding
- An idiot (warning) light comes on but only when the brake pedal is depressed nearly all the way down. In the case of a 1968 GTO (and maybe older A body, muscle cars and other GM makes from the 1960s), the warning is when the red "brake" light beneath the speedometer gauge turns on. This typically happens when you're low on brake fluid. Or, in my case, when you've got something going on with your brake system (like air in the lines).
- You have to depress the brake pedal all the way down to the floor before the car begins to slow.
- You have to pump the brake pedal repeatedly before the braking seems to respond normally.
- The brake pedal feels mushy.
I experienced all of the above issues with my 68 GTO. These are the tell tale signs that there is air trapped in the brake lines. It's bad if air gets trapped in your brake lines because it results in there being a lack of pressure in the braking system. Pressure is necessary in order to open and close the brake calipers. That's great, so now what do you do?