Problem stopping plus loud noise

So I just bought a 2004 Ford Focus. I did not drive above 15mph when I tested the car due to the lake effect snow that was occuring. Now that I own the car I have noticed if you try to stop going over 20mph the car starts to stop but last second it lurches forward a little bit. There is also a grinding noise that sounds like its coming from the back and a loud vibration that sounds like its coming from underneath the middle of the car. I’m trying to figure out if it is the brakes, tires or a leak in a brake line (those are all things my dad said it might be). Any advice would be helpful!

When there is any question as to the effectiveness of your brakes, you need to take the car (or tow the car) to a competent mechanic right away, or simply park it until such time as you can get it to a mechanic.

That being said, it is possible that the “loud vibration” is the ABS system kicking in. If this noise has taken place when braking on a wet surface, that would support this possibility.

If there was a leak in a brake line, you would see a drop in the level of fluid in the master cylinder. Did your father check the master cylinder? In any event, a leak in a brake line would not cause a noise, and would “only” be likely to lead to loss of braking ability.

Based on the description, I tend to doubt that this is a tire problem.

Whether this is a case of an overly-sensitive ABS system, or brake pads that are worn down to bare metal, or…whatever…this car needs to go to a mechanic before you cause a serious accident.

I actually am not driving the car any where (just the 15min drive from where I bought it), I haven’t even had it inspected yet. If its just the brakes that need replacing I have a friend who said he can do it if I buy the parts. I was just hoping to have more of an idea of whether it was just the brakes before I went to buy the parts. And the vibration occurs whenever the car is running.

Does your state have a statute specifying that the seller of a car is responsible for the car being able to pass a safety inspection? If so, you may be able to return the car for a refund or have the seller pay for brake repair.

It says “selling the car as is” on our agreement. I only paid $1200 for it though so I don’t mind paying for brakes to be fixed but if its more than the rotors & pads I was going to have the car towed to a garage.