Brakes are one of the most crucial parts of a car. Paying attention to the warning signs that indicate service is needed can mean the difference between life and death on the road. We have taken the liberty to provide you with the five most common signs your brakes need to be serviced, so you can stay safe and prevent any brake-related accidents in the future.
The majority of all cars use what is known as a disc brake system. These brakes have a hydraulic system filled with brake fluid that triggers a set of padded clamps known as calipers, causing them to squeeze on a disc known as the rotor. The friction between the brake pads and the rotor will eventually stop a car. Over time, the pads will begin to wear down, meaning they will become less effective at slowing your vehicle. If you feel like it is taking longer for your car to reach a complete stop, chances are you have worn pads, and they may need replacement.
Brake pads now come equipped with a curved metal indicator that makes contact with your rotors and squeals when it is time your pads need replacing. If you hear a harsh grinding sound, it means that you have gone completely through your brake pads, and now the metal from the calipers is grinding against your rotors. Not only is this a terrible method to stop your car, but chances are you’re damaging your rotors. We highly advise having your pads replaced before you need an expensive rotor resurfacing or replacement.
Do you feel as though your car has a mind of its own? As if though you’re constantly fighting it from turning right or left while driving or braking?
If so, this is a clear indicator that there may be a problem with your braking system. This type of pulling can be caused by a stuck caliper, as a scenario like this would suggest that there’s more friction on one wheel and not on the others. However, this problem can arise through other means, such as worn tires, poor alignment, or problems with your vehicle’s suspension system. If your car begins to pull, go to your nearest trusted mechanic shop for a full workup and diagnostic.
It is normal to experience rapid brake-pedal pulsing when executing an emergency stop in a car with antilock brakes. However, if your brake pedal pulses in this way under standard braking scenarios, you may have a problem. Generally, a brake pedal that vibrates during normal braking can be an indicator of warped rotors. However, you can also feel these types of vibrations with misaligned wheels. In either case, it’s always safer to see a mechanic for a diagnosis.
Mushy pedals, ones that go practically to the floor before engaging the brake, could indicate worn pads or a problem with your hydraulic systems, such as air in the line, air leak, or brake fluid leaks.
The opposite can mean the same, as a pedal that grabs immediately at the slightest touch could indicate an unevenly worn rotor, dirty brake fluid, or contamination of the brake fluid.
If you feel like your brake is beyond mushy and feels like you have to go through the same efforts that Fred Flintstone has to use to bring your vehicle to a stop, you may have a brake line obstruction. All of these situations make it extremely hard to operate a car efficiently and safely. It would be best if you had your car serviced so you can stay safe on the road.
Our mechanics at RedLine Auto are very knowledgeable about brake diagnosis and are willing to help anyone struggling to come to a complete stop. Bring your vehicle into our local and trusted mechanic shop to get it back to its most efficient state.