Question about Kia Spectra

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My battery light and my emergency brake light came on at exact same time. My brakes are messed up it almost feels like only the back drum brakes are working the brake pedal is way different I changed all brakes front and back and rotors because it needed it didn't help the problem though and then pulled alternator tested it and failed my question is is it possible for the alternator failing to affect my brakes or is it a coincidence and there is something else wrong with brakes this is on 03 Kia spectra

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  • groomsy77 Jul 23, 2010

    Great detail thanks

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Hi, to answer the question about the alternator, the battery light along with the brake will come on when your alternator has failed at the internal regulator. it's in the way the dash routes the wires to each lamp, the power is not sensed at the battery light lamp and for whatever reason, it turns on the brake lamp. now, replace the alternator and if both lights don't go out, only the alternator (battery) light goes out, you may have air in the brake lines, or perhaps the master cylinder is going bad and leaking either internally, or externally. but first thing is to check and make sure the brake fluid is full of course. if both lights do go out, ( which they should if the alternator is the only cause) then you may still want to check the brakes for air, and the master cylinder for any external/internal leaks. take a bright flashlight and look at the brake master cylinder where it mounts onto the vacuum booster(in case your don't know where this is, it's where to put the brake in and straight down from there) and look for paint that appears to be peeling up, or heavy fluid residue. this is a very good indication of leaking externally. the only other thing to do is to start the vehicle and push on the brake pedal in park and hold it there and see if it seems to move towards the floor gradually, this is an indication of a internal leak at the master cylinder, or air in the lines. you may have to try this test a couple of times at least to be sure. hope i could help. if you have more questions, please write a comment, i will check periodically.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010

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1 Answer

Burning smell brakes


Most people do not remove the rear rotors and inspect the Emergency Brake shoes. These often peel off the metal backing on the shoe and jam inside the interior Drum of the rotor. Some people will hear a rusty grinding noise after pulling away from a stop.

These brakes have the old "star-wheel" adjusters and may need to be adjusted more loosely to remove the rotor. Its a bad system in my opinion; the drum always rusts and corrodes and the Ebrake shoes are banana peel thin. With corrosion, the drum acts like a grinder and chews up the brake shoes. Some other configurations use a mechanical link on the caliper to make the service brakes act in an Emergency. It will override a hydraulic failure, but you still need good pads on the caliper.

Mar 17, 2014 | 2000 Ford Expedition

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Van will not back up or drive forward. Seems like the back end is locked up. Van started and shifted into gear, but would not move.


If you can feel the thump of the engine when you select gear I would say the trans is working, most likely I would say that your emergency brakes are locked, your rear shoes are binding with the drum. 2 causes, a frayed cable may not be allowing you to release the the brakes, or the springs are soft in the rear brake area and not releasing. Jack up the rear put in neutral, emergency lever off, see if wheel can turn by hand, if not, remove wheel hit brake drum with rubber mallet to see if this releases the shoes off the drum. Inspect emergency brake cable first to see that there is little tension holding it. let me know how you go. cheers.

Oct 14, 2013 | 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan

1 Answer

Why would my emergency brake not hold? I have installed new drums, dealer replaced cable three yrs ago and has not been tight since. I have gone back several times, and had adjustments, what else can be...


Make sure you have lots of "meat" on your brake shoes.
Emergency brakes only apply rear brakes by using shoes against the drum, that are pulled by the cable, that's attached to the emergency brake lever / pedal....and actuated by the driver.

It has to be one of those three components...may have to pull the drum and actuate the pedal / lever to see if the cable spreads the shoes and make adjustments from there.

If your back brakes don't hold...it can also cause the ABS light to illuminate...

Hope this helps...

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1 Answer

It seems to occur usually when car has been sittin a while. ill back out of parking spot and when the wheels start to turn it seems to lock up. when i give it a little gas its like moving a tank. ill drive...


Sound like the the emergency/parking brake adjuster is stuck.
The S60 as well as other P2 Volvos feature what's called "drum-in-hat" rear brakes that means that inside each of the rear disc brake rotors is a tiny drum brake. The rear discs function as the service brakes and the rear drums function as the emergency/ parking brakes.


That said, the parking brake adjuster works the same way as it does on most any other vehicle with a drum brake setup.

The parking bake adjuster works only when backing up. Sound like your may be getting stuck. The "hop" you feel may just be when the obstruction comes free/loose and fully release the emergency/parking brake

When it comes to poor parking brake operation, check for contaminated or excessively worn parking brake shoes.

I am surprise the dealer did not suggest this as a possible cause. Go back to dealer or find a reputable brake shop to check this out. Both rear wheels and rotors should be removed and the parking brakes inspected. This is a lot easier and cheaper fix than it will be if the problem is in the transmission (which it could be).

Please post a comment when you find out the true cause if this or something else so I can add this to my knowledge base. J



Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating and POSITIVE TESTIMONIAL is really appreciated for the FREE answering of your question.

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What kind of brakes are on my 1998 Cadillac Seville SLS? Are there disc brakes in front and back? or does it have drum brakes in the back?


Both, actually. In the front, disks.
In the rear the main braking is a similar disk, and much smaller is a drum, essentially in the hub area of the disk rotor. In there are cute little drum breaks that are the emergency or parking brake. Do inspect and adjust them, while you are in there.
Familiarize the feel and effectiveness of the parking brake before you start...so you will know.

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1 Answer

I live in Chicago. Currently, my ABS light is on continuously on the dashboard plus the Emergency Brake light also comes on during driving. I have discovered that I can depress the brake while in motion...


sounds like a bad wheel brake cylinder. you will have to remove wheel and drum to determine exact extent of damage.Do not drive it that way very dangerious

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1 Answer

How to change back brakes 1999 ford windstar, back brakes are grinding, brake light on


does it have rear disc brakes or drum brakes, if disc brakes should be changed just like the front and you might have an emergency brake shoe inside the rotor that they call a halo shoe, if it is drum brakes take off the adjusting spring and the return spring remove the brake adjuster,the the brake bar then remove the brake shoe hold down spring by holding the pin from the back and pushing and turning the spring to remove from the pin, you might have to remove the the emergency brake bar from one shoe by removing the horseshoe clip from the pin on the shoe if you have problems putting it back together look at the other side that you have not torn down yet.

Aug 12, 2009 | 1999 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Rear drum brake locked up . just drivers side. emergency brake seemed ok until i broke it but the brake was locked before i messed with the emergency brake. drum will not move even when driving car


remove the brake line to release the pressure. Look at the brake fluid to see if its contaminated. Its common for when the wrong fluid is added to brake fluid you will cause all the rubber parts to swell. and turn the fluid black. You may need to replace all brake components if this is the case. If the fluid is not contaminated you may be able to just release the pressure and wiggle the drum or pry to get it off.. Then you may just need to replace the wheel cylinder and or the brake hose. When you get the drum off you may notice the wheel cylinder has been leaking. With the line open press on the brake to verify the line is colgged or not.. When done bleed the whole system

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How is the brake fluid level in the master cylinder? If it's low, the brake light will come on. The right rear wheel and drum need to be removed to inspect the brakes and see what is going on. Your description sounds like there may be some brake hardware floating around inside the drum. Let me know what u find. Curt

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