Many drivers ignore brake maintenance until something goes wrong. Brake components such as brake pads, rotors, and calipers are made to last a long time. However, brake pads, in particular, can wear out quickly depending on driving conditions, your driving style, or stop-and-go traffic, which determines how often you apply the brakes.
Top 5 Signs Your Car Needs New Brakes
Failing brakes can be easily detected by watching out for the following warning signs:
Screeching or Squeaky Brakes
When you apply the brakes, the brake pads are pressed against the brake rotors, which causes them to wear out over time. If the brake pads wear out to a certain level, their metal shims are exposed, which grind against the rotors to produce a squealing sound.
Loud Grinding Noises
Grinding sounds occur when you ignore the screeching sounds above and continue driving for some time. The grinding sounds occur when the pads are completely worn out, causing the brake calipers to grind against the rotors. This can damage the rotors, which will require resurfacing or even replacement.
Your brakes should respond firmly and evenly when you step on the brake pedal. If the brakes feel soft or mushy, and the pedal travels further than usual toward the floor, then there could be a problem with the hydraulic brake system. This requires an immediate check by a mechanic.
Vibrations When Braking
Brake rotors should be smooth but can warp and cause a vibrating or pulsing sensation under braking. This is commonly caused by excess heating or overuse, e.g., under heavy braking while towing a heavy trailer downhill.
The Check Brake Sign is on
The check brake warning light on your dashboard will light up when something is wrong with your brakes. If the warning light is off, but the above signs are observed, take your vehicle to a mechanic for brake servicing.
Your brakes are one of the most critical safety features of your vehicle. Stay safe by having them checked and serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic. If you need brake service, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our Parker's Tire & Auto Service today!