Signs Your Brakes Need Repairs
As anyone who has ever owned a vehicle knows, certain parts periodically need replacement due to normal wear and tear. That’s why it’s important to get regular preventive maintenance to ensure that your car, truck or SUV is running properly. Although there is no magic formula to determine when your brakes need servicing, this is one area that requires strict attention as bad brakes can become a safety issue. Long before the brake light comes on, your vehicle will give you telltale signs that it’s time to get repairs.
Unusual Noises While Driving
Properly working brakes should always operate quietly, so when you hear something bring your vehicle in for inspection. When something is wrong brakes will make either a high-pitched squealing or screeching called metal shim. Lower-pitched growling or grinding may also occur. This sound, which can be heard with the windows closed, is the first indication that brake pads need replacement. Ignoring metal shim will lead to costly repairs down the road.
Grinding or growling occurs when the brake pads are completely worn. Brake discs and calipers rubbing together cause this noise and can result in scratched rotors that require further work.
Warped rotors often result in a vibrating or a pulsating brake pedal. This condition occurs when drivers attempt severe braking for long periods when driving down steep slopes. High friction causes rotors to heat and eventually warp. The feeling is similar to a panic stop in a vehicle with anti-lock brakes. Vibration can also indicate misalignment, but no matter what the cause, make sure your car is serviced.
If your vehicle pulls to one side when you hit the brakes, the pads may worn unevenly. Pay attention if your vehicle experiences difficulty stopping. More serious issues can include foreign matter in the brake fluid or stuck brake cylinders. Have brake fluid drained and replaced or inspect other brake components for adjustment.
Soft Brake Pedal
If your vehicle takes much longer to stop or you need to push down harder on the brake pedal, these are additional signs that the pads have worn down or other components are compromised and need repair.
Any type of an odd smell, particularly burning, can indicate friction or excessive heat. Never ignore this symptom, even if everything else seems to work properly. Make sure your technician performs a thorough inspection to determine its cause.