Your vehicle’s brakes are obviously very important. It may not always be so obvious when you’re driving on bad brakes. There are many signs that you’ll want to notice long before your brakes stop working. This type of oversight can be very dangerous and very expensive. To keep your vehicle ahead of any costly brake repair needs, these are 5 warning signs of bad brakes:
1) High-Pitched Squeal
This is that annoying squealing noise you always hear coming from other people’s cars, but never your own. It’s much easier to miss the sound when you have the windows up and the stereo blasting. The noise is grating enough to grab your attention and keep you from ignoring necessary brake service. Although it’s not time to panic, it’s definitely time to schedule your next brake service appointment.
2) Sinking Brake Pedal
Sometimes when applying the brakes you’ll notice that the pedal drops closer to the floor, as opposed to hard and rigid. When the brakes are not being as responsive as they should, there will be a longer braking distance. This is known as brake fade, and it is a clear sign that your braking system needs attention. The severity of your vehicle’s brake fade can only be determined by a professional.
When you apply your brakes and your vehicle starts pulling to one side that means that one side of the braking system is malfunctioning. Typically, the brakes should be wearing evenly, but in the case of pulling, they are wearing on one side more than the other. Different components in your braking system can be causing an uneven application of the brakes.
4) Grinding Noise
A grinding noise is a warning sign that drivers will typically get after they’ve gotten other warning signs. This means that the brake pads have worn all the way down. The metal-on-metal grinding noise is unmistakable, and it will feel like you’re doing damage. Anytime metal is able to collide with metal and cause friction there is a higher potential for breakdown. By the time that you get this warning sign it is definitely time to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Drivers can also feel their warning signs under their foot as they press the brake. There will be a vibration in the pedal or in the steering wheel that lets drivers there is something wrong with the braking system. The location of the vibration can also tell you whether it’s the rear brakes or the front brakes that are causing the problem. If you feel a vibration in the steering wheel, and if it’s felt in the seat, it’s the rear brakes.
If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, contact us or conveniently schedule an appointment online and we’ll take a look!