Most drivers don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their vehicle’s brakes, expecting them to function well without much attention. However, if your vehicle needs brake repair, ignoring the signs can lead to everything from more expensive repair bills to an accident caused by inadequate braking. Here are some indications that your brakes should be checked:
Skimpy Brake Pads
A quick visual inspection of your brake pads, which are typically visible through the spokes of your car’s wheel, can let you know whether they are nearing the end of their useful life. You should be able to see the outside pad pressed against a metal rotor, and typically there should be more than ¾ inches of a pad. If it’s thinner, your pads are wearing out and need to be replaced.
Do you hear a high-pitched squeal or whine when braking? That’s a small piece of metal called an indicator, and your vehicle is actually designed to produce this noise when your brakes need attention. If you regularly hear squealing at stops, get your vehicle in for a brake inspection right away. Note that, while loud enough to be heard inside the vehicle’s cabin, the squealing sound might not be audible over extra noise such as the radio. For this reason, it’s a good idea to occasionally drive without the radio on.
Does your brake pedal feel “spongy” or “squishy”, or sink too rapidly toward the floor of the automobile? This is a warning that there’s something wrong with the brake lines in your car, most likely from a leak of either air or brake fluid. This can lead to an inability to stop the vehicle, is a dangerous situation, and should be addressed immediately by a qualified mechanic.
When you come to a stop, do you notice your vehicle “pulling” to one side or the other? This can be an indication that your brake fluid is dirty and needs replacing, or that the brake linings are wearing unevenly. Your brake fluid may need to be flushed or replaced. While this may not seem as urgent as the other indications of brake failure, consider that if the “pulling” occurs on wet or slippery roads and impacts the car’s handling, it could have serious consequences.
Your brakes get taken for granted, but they’re one of the most important safety features in your car. If you notice any of these clues that your brakes might need some tender loving care, please call us right away and let us schedule an appointment for your vehicle. Your safety is too important to wait.
Warning Signs You Need New Brakes – www.jdpower.com
Winter Car Care Tips – www.planet9.com