brake pedal

Your Freelander’s brakes are one of the most vital parts of your vehicle and keeping them in the best shape possible is key to keeping your Freelander running efficiently and safely. If you have a problem with your brakes the following information will hopefully help you to determine exactly where the problem is. The information below is for the Freelander 2 however most of it is common to all Freelanders and in fact all vehicles.

Do you find your Freelander’s brakes are noisy?

As you will expect your brakes wear over time, and so inspecting both front and rear brake pads for deterioration as well as any damage to your anti-squeal shims is a good idea.

Have you discovered any damage or build up on your Freelander’s brake discs? If so it might be time for a clean or a change of discs, depending on how severe you determine the wear to be.

Even if you don’t immediately see any clear damage to your discs or shims, you should still check for any possible corrosion, wear or thickness variations.

Brake disc variations could cause noticeable issues with your Freelander; not only the efficiency of your braking system but can it also be the source of other issues such as vibration and or harshness felt when applying the brakes, which conveniently leads us onto our next section.

Are you experiencing a vibration or harshness when your brakes are applied?

As previously mentioned, brake disc wear can be the source of not just inefficient braking but can also be the likely culprit for noise vibrations and or an overly harsh sensation through the brake pedal or steering wheel.

If you are feeling vibration or harshness, it may be time to give your Freelander a road test to find a solution.

To road test your Freelander you will need to bring it up to speed on a long stretch of road to about 25 – 50 mph without applying brakes. Once you are at a reasonable speed without applying brakes, listen for any vibration.

If you can hear/feel a vibration, it’s recommended to check the balance of your wheels/tyres, or for any damage or wear to your suspension bushings/components. If you are still not satisfied with whereabouts you are hearing/feeling vibration, you can always repeat the road test if you deem necessary.

If there is no vibration without application of the brakes, repeat the road test but this time with a light to medium application. Is there now vibration present?

If you can hear or feel a vibration with the brakes applied at varying levels then it is recommended to check your brake calliper mounting bolts and wheel hub nuts, then to have these tightened as necessary.

Check your Freelanders brake discs for excessive wear, runout, thickness variation or cracks and seek a mechanic for installation of new brake discs as required.

Unfortunately if there is still vibration present, there may be a number of issues and so it would be wise to check for wear or failure of your steering gear bushings as well as your steering gear ball joints. Failure or wear of your front wheel bearings, suspension bushings are also a possibility. Have these components replaced as required.

Do your brakes pull or drift?

Do you feel your Freelander drift or pull to one side when you apply the brakes? This problem can be down to incorrect tyre pressure or excessive wear on your tyre tread. Having these problems adjusted and changed as soon as possible would be recommended as to keep your Freelander running efficiently.

If you still feel your Freelander drifting or pulling while brakes are applied, or your tyres are already at the correct pressure and in good condition, it may be beneficial to check your disc brake calliper pistons and pins for any signs of binding, leaking or sticking as this could be the culprit. While doing this it would be wise to also check your brake discs for any excessive damage, thickness variation or runout. If any of these are present on your discs, a replacement would be recommended.

If you don’t see any damage or wear to your disc brake callipers but still get a pull or drift when applying the brakes, a look at the front hub and wheel bearing assembly as well as the suspension bushing and ball joints could reveal the problem.

If after all suggested fixes you are still finding your Freelander is pulling or drifting, it may be your steering geometry, in which case you can adjust this as necessary.

Do you feel as if your Freelander brake pedal is spongy?

Do you feel as though you have lost some brake pedal height (Sometimes called pedal reserve)?

Your pedal may even touch the floor under heavy braking or your brakes no longer provide sufficient brake force.

These types of symptoms are dangerous and could well be signs that there is air in your brakes system. The following checks and possible bleed of the system is required:

With your engine off check for a firm brake pedal.

Is the brake pedal effort and brake pedal travel normal?

If the brake pedal effort is feeling unusual you can check your brake pedal reserve to rule out other issues.

With your engine still off pump the brake pedal 10 times and hold on the final application. Does your brake pedal now feel firm on the final application?

If the final application does feel firm, it is recommended you follow the next brake pedal reserve check.

However if you find the final pump still feels spongy or unusual this could also be a sign that there is air in your brakes system and that a bleeding of the system is required to remove the air.

Checking your brake pedal reserve:

With your engine now turned on ensure the parking brake and transmission is in park/neutral.

Allow engine to idle.

Apply the brake pedal lightly three or four times.

Wait 15 seconds for the vacuum to recover.

Push down on the brake pedal until it stops moving downward or an increased resistance to the brake pedal travel occurs.

Hold the brake pedal in the applied position while increasing the engine speed to 2000 rpm.

Release the accelerator pedal.

Can you see or feel the brake medal move downward as the engine speed returns to idle?

If you do not feel the pedal move downward you will need to check the vacuum to your brake booster.

However if you do feel your brake pedal move downward it could be your brake master cylinder reservoir fluid level. Check this fluid level as well any leaks in your brake system and rectify as necessary. If needed add fluid then bleed the brake system.

Is your Freelander’s brake pedal traveling faster than normal?

A fast traveling brake pedal can be a sign of a few things.

Start by taking your Freelander on a road test and feeling for irregular speed of travel in your brake pedal.

Do you still feel that your brake pedal isn’t quite right? If so the next step is to bring your Freelander to a stop and while stationary pump the brake pedal rapidly at least five times so as to pressurise your brake system.

Do you feel the brake pedal travel build up and then hold? If so a bleed of your brakes system and a following test for normal operation is required.

However if you do not feel your pedal hold after pressurising the system this could be a sign that you may have an external brake system leak.

Is your Freelander’s brake pedal traveling slower than normal?

A slow traveling brake pedal can be a sign of an external brake system leak.

A check on the brake system for a leak is advised and a repair be carried out if you discover any damage or leaks, followed by a top up with brake fluid and bleeding of the system.

Are you finding your Freelander requires excessive effort to engage the brake system?

Having to use excessive effort on your brake pedal can be a sign of brake pad wear or damage of some form. A check of your pads for excessive wear and damage, contamination or incorrect installation could reveal the problem. If you find any concerns with your brake pads a new set of pads should be installed.

However if you do not find any concerning damage or wear to your brake pads, check and locating the issue then repair of your brakes vacuum.

If you do not find any issues with the vacuum, a check and inspection of the rest of the system and any damaged connections or missing clamps should be completed.

After a check of the system another check for proper functionality of the brake vacuum is required. You can do this by pumping the brake pedal several times to exhaust the vacuum with the engine off. Push down on the brake pedal and hold.

Does your brake pedal move down when the engine is started?

If not you will need to check your brake booster valve for proper functionality and have repaired as necessary.

Do you feel your brakes lockup during light application of the brake pedal?

Start by inspecting your brake pads for any wear or damage, signs of incorrect installation or contamination from oils etc.

If you uncover anything that is of concern, you should have your brake pads replaced as required.

Inspect brake callipers for binding, leaking or sticking that could be cause for concern or the source of the locking up of your brakes.

Do you feel your Freelander brakes drag when applied?

Dragging brakes are usually caused by issues with the brake calipers pistons and pins as well as the parking brake cables and so it would be a good idea to check these for sticking, binding or leaking.

If you do find sticking or binding of these parts, a replacement of these components would be required.

However if you do not find any issues with these components the cause could be your brake boosters connecting rod alignment and travel.

Do you find your Freelander has excessive/erratic brake pedal travel?

To begin, a check on the brake master cylinder fluid level is required as to rule out improper seal on the master cylinder reservoir.

If you find you are running low on master cylinder fluid, top it up using the exact fluid recommended for your Freelander, to the requirements stated on the reservoir. Follow by bleeding the system.

Check the brake pedal reserve as covered earlier.

Follow this by a check of the front wheel bearing assembly looking for any damage and excessive wear or play in the bearings and replace if necessary.

If you do not find anything of concern in the wheel bearing assembly a check for thickness variances in the brake discs is recommended.

Are you experiencing slow or incomplete brake pedal return in your Freelander?

To check your brake pedal return you should begin by running your engine at idle while making several brake applications.

Pull the brake pedal rearward with a medium amount of force

Release the brake pedal and measure the distance to the toe board

Make a hard brake application

Release the brake pedal and measure the brake pedal to toe board distance. The brake pedal should return to it’s original position.

If your pedal does not return to it’s original position you will need to have the brake booster disconnected in order to check for any binding on the brake pedal itself.

After disconnecting the brake booster the brake pedal should operate freely. If not, a repair or installation of a new brake pedal is required.

Hopefully this has covered any issue you might have with your Freelander brakes, if however you have not managed to determine what the problem is please give us a call on +44-780-9575-421 or drop us an email to sue@freelanderspecialist.com

We are FreelanderSpecialist.com, we have worked on nothing but Freelander’s for many years and we love them. We don’t love them because they give us an income, we love them because they are fantastic vehicles; they are comfortable, stylish and extremely capable. We love people who love their Freelander, and we will do everything we can to help you keep it in tip top condition and avoid all of the issues above; from regular tips on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreelanderSpecialist and articles on our website www.freelanderspecialist.com, to email (sue@freelanderspecialist.com) and telephone (+44 780 9575 421) support. But if you do get caught out we are always here to carry out repairs and we specialise in reconditioning all Freelander engines and drive train items.

Sue & Nobert

FreelanderSpecialist.com

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