One of the most important safety functions of your vehicle is simply responsive braking that why brake inspections are important.
But, those who drive every day may not always notice that their brakes are slowly fading. The risks of low functioning are numerous and can be dangerous:
- Increased risk of accidents
- Reduced control over the vehicle
- Wear and tear on other vehicle components
- Low fuel efficiency
- Low brake fluid level
- Faulty master cylinder
- Car pulls to one side
- Increase vibration
- Squealing sound
- Brake check light is on
- Spongy brake pedal
Poor functioning brakes can compromise your safety and the safety of others. That’s why it is important to pay attention to the brake warning light on your dashboard. The brake light is normally your first sign that your car brakes need service.
In today’s blog post, we discuss the warning signs that indicate your car is due for a brakes inspection.
Signs That Indicate Your Brakes Need An Inspection
1. Unusual Noises (Grinding Sounds)
When your brake pads are getting thin, they may begin to make noise. Squeaking or Screeching Noise: This is a common indication of worn-out brake pads, and it can get worse if you ignore it. The noise may become louder and more persistent, indicating that the pads are almost worn out, and it’s time to replace them.
The most common noises are squeaking, knocking and grinding. Squeaking can be caused by brake dust, while grinding and knocking can be caused by worn brake pads.
2. Slower Braking
When you apply the brake, you may find that your vehicle is less responsive than normal.
It takes you longer to brake than it used to, and the brakes themselves may feel spongy or squishy. This could be a sign that you have low hydraulic pressure from a fluid leak. If you drive routinely, your brake pads may wear down so slowly that you don’t really notice this change. But, if someone new gets behind your vehicle’s wheel and tells you the brakes are less responsive than they expect, that is a sure sign that your brakes need an inspection.
Soft or Spongy Brake Pedal: A brake pedal that feels soft or spongy when you press down on it is an indication of low brake fluid or air in the brake lines. This can severely affect your ability to brake properly, and you must have it checked out immediately.
3. Pulsating Brakes
Pulsating brakes in cars can be caused by several factors, usually related to the braking system’s components. Some telltale signs for brake pulsation are:
- Warped brake rotors and drums: Brake rotors and drums can warp due to excessive heat, uneven wear, or manufacturing defects. When the brake pads make contact with a warped rotor, it results in an uneven braking force, which leads to pulsation.
- Warped drums: Brake drums can warp
In addition, when your steering wheel starts shaking, that means there are brake system problems with brake rotors or calipers, which can lead to warping or sticking. Your disc for your brakes can become damaged. Vibrations and Shaking: When you hit the brakes and your steering wheel, dashboard, or brake pedal starts to vibrate or shake, it’s a sign that your brake rotors are warped. Warped rotors can lead to uneven braking, which can be dangerous, and they need to be repaired immediately.
4. Burning Smell
The burning smell from the brakes is likely caused by a brake caliper hanging up, a collapsed brake hose, excessive braking, heavy loads, steep descents, or a combination of these factors. This could indicate brake pads are worn.
Overheating brakes can cause complete brake failure. These conditions lead to increased heat generation within the braking system, which can have detrimental effects on its components. Overheated brakes can result in reduced braking efficiency, brake fade, warped rotors or drums, damaged brake pads or shoes, and even the boiling of brake fluid, leading to a spongy or unresponsive brake pedal.
Burning Smell: If you smell a burning odor when driving or braking, it may be because your brake pads are overheating. Overheating can cause damage to the brake system, and you must have it fixed before it leads to a bigger problem.
5. Wear Indicators or Visual Inspection Cues
Modern cars are often fitted with sensors that keep track of the condition of their brake pads and wheel cylinders.
All you need to do is know the dash icon for brakes for your specific vehicle and keep your eye out for it on the dash. On older vehicles, you may look at the brake pads yourself instead. If the visuals are telling you that it’s time to get your brakes inspected, don’t wait too long to make an appointment.
6. Warning Light
Most modern cars have a dashboard warning light that activates when there is an issue with the brakes. Some cars may also have a warning sound or message. If any warning light turns on, it’s time to have your brakes inspected.
As brakes go, so goes the safety and performance of your vehicle. The last thing you want is for your brakes to fail you at the worst possible time or lead to costly repairs. You can avoid expensive repair bills by paying attention to all of these warning signs.
Regular brake inspections and maintenance can prevent costly repairs and avoid accidents. Don’t ignore any of these warning signs, and make sure to have your brake system checked by a professional mechanic if you experience any issues. ProAuto is committed to providing a stress-free experience to both new and returning customers with competitive pricing. At ProAuto, you’ll find experienced automotive technicians only using OEM approved parts and name brand tires to guarantee you and your family are traveling safely. Schedule an appointment today!