5 Signs It Is Time to Get Your Brakes Checked by a Professional
Can you tell when your car’s brakes need repair or replacement? Many car owners, especially new car owners tend to have limited knowledge concerning car brakes. Being one of the most significant features in your car, maintenance or servicing your car brakes is something you cannot afford to ignore. It is therefore crucial to identify some of the red flags that could mean your car brakes need to be checked and here are some signs to watch out for.
Pay attention to odd sounds when you are driving especially when you step on the brakes. Squeaking, squealing, or grinding noises are some of the odd sounds you will hear if your brakes are problematic. Squealing and squeaking noises are usually signs that you have worn out brake pads. As a result, the contact between the brake rotors and the disc produces the metallic squeal. If you don’t take the brakes to your mechanic for a check-up, you may eventually hear grinding noises. This is often the case when the brake pads are completely worn and in most cases, can only be remedied through replacement.
Vibrations are another sign that your car brakes could be failing. If you feel vibrations in your brake pedal when you depress it, it is usually a sign that you have warped brake rotors. If the warping is severe, you may feel the vibrations on your steering wheel or even the entire vehicle. In most cases, warped rotors are a result of severe braking, especially for long periods. An example would be when towing or driving down a hilly or steep terrain. You feel the vibrations because the brake pads are unable to evenly grab the surface due to the warped rotors. Warped rotors are quite costly to repair so you need to be careful if you drive regularly in such conditions. Consider stopping periodically to give some time for the brakes to cool off.
If your car pulls to one side especially when you apply the brakes, get your mechanic to inspect those brakes. Pulling is usually caused by brake linings that are wearing unevenly. The culprit could also be your brake fluid. Either there is a leakage somewhere or a foreign matter in the fluid. Depending on the specific problem, your car could require a brake adjustment or the fluid would have to be drained and replaced to solve the problem.
A temperamental or spongy pedal is the other sign to watch out for when it comes to brake problems. A spongy pedal is usually one that isn’t as responsive as it should be or one that tends to sink to the floor when you step on it. It is often caused by a brake fluid leakage or an air leak in your brake hose.
A burning smell can be a result of various issues in your car due to the multiple electrical components. However, if this sharp chemical odor comes after a period of repeated hard braking, such as on steep roads, you may have overheated the brakes.