Your brakes might not need to be maintained with the same frequency as, say, your engine oil or other parts of your vehicle, but it’s still important to regularly check them and make sure they’re functioning properly.
This means you need to be constantly vigilant of possible brake problems while driving your vehicle. Here are just a few examples of some of the most common warning signs you might experience while behind the wheel that could indicate a need for brake replacement:
- The dashboard brake light is on: You might notice an indicator light up on the dashboard that indicates your brakes need to be inspected. These indicators will usually be either red or yellow. It might look like an exclamation point inside parentheses, though be aware that this could also be pointing to other issues aside from the brakes if there is no other indicator that specifically indicates a brake problem.
- Strange noises: Have you noticed any unusual squealing or grinding noises while applying the brakes? This is a sign you should have your brakes checked out as soon as possible. A metallic squeal with a high pitch usually means your brake pads are wearing down and you’re starting to make contact with the rotor, so you should replace the pads to avoid rotor damage. Grinding sounds and sensations could mean there’s debris caught in the brake system, or you went too long without replacing the brake pads and are now grinding your rotor (a problem that could quickly turn expensive).
- Strange vibrations or other feelings: Do you notice weird sensations in the steering wheel when applying the brakes? It could be a wobbling, vibrating or scraping feeling. This could be caused by an uneven rotor surface, or a caliper not releasing properly. It’s a good idea to have a mechanic check out the issue, especially if you notice it starting to worsen.
- Softness when applying the brake: Do you notice a soft or spongy brake pedal when you apply the brakes? If you notice the pedal sinking all the way down to the floor when you hit the brake, it means you probably need to have the brake serviced. There’s likely air or moisture in the system, but it could also be a problem with the master cylinder.
- Leaking brake fluid: This is another issue that could be associated with a soft brake pedal. Take a look for fluid leaking out of the master cylinder or elsewhere in the braking system. There’s a chance you might even see brake fluid leaking out of the vehicle when it’s parked.
- Strong burning smells: Do you notice burning smells while driving? This could be a sign of overheated brakes. It’s often experienced by people driving through very hilly or mountainous regions who have to rely too much on their brakes while going downhill. It could also be caused by trying to drive while the parking brake is not fully released. In either case, you should pull over and allow your brakes to cool down, then get them checked by a pro when you have the chance.
For more information about the common warning signs indicating brake failure and the need for brake replacement, contact M & M Tire & Service Center today.
Categorised in: Brake Services
This post was written by Writer