You’re driving your kids home from school while they talk and bubble with laughter in the backseat. Suddenly, a car whips out right in front of you. You slam on the brakes and skid to a halt, avoiding the car by mere inches. Whew! Everyone’s gone quiet, and you silently thank your lucky stars that you just got your brakes replaced last month.
Many of us don’t think about our vehicle’s brakes often. It’s usually only after an incident like this, that we stop to consider how important it is to have brakes that are in top-notch condition. So how do you know if you’re due for a brake repair? Here are some typical warning signs that it’s time for a brake replacement.
HIGH PITCHED SCREECHING SOUND
The indicator – a small metal shim – is the component responsible for this sound. If you hear it, then you know your brake pads are due to be replaced.
YOUR BRAKES DON'T SEEM AS RESPONSIVE AS THEY SHOULD BE.
This is a definitely a red flag. When your brakes become less responsive or the pedal sinks towards the floor when you brake, this could indicate some sort of leak in the braking system.
YOUR VEHICLE PULLS TO ONE SIDE WHILE BRAKING.
This symptom could mean that your brake linings are wearing unevenly. It could also mean that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid.
YOU HEAR A GRINDING OR GROWLING NOISE.
We probably don’t need to tell you that any unusual noises coming from your vehicle are a red flag. This grinding or growling noise is caused when the disc and caliper rub together. If you hear it, then it means that you’ve probably already heard the high-pitched screeching sound from the indicator, and you’ve waited too long to replace your brakes. You’ve most likely worn down the pads beyond replacement, and could possibly need new rotors as well.
YOU FEEL A VIBRATION WHEN YOU BRAKE.
A pulsating brake pedal is usually a symptom of warped rotors. You can warp your rotors a couple different ways. One, you slam on the brakes while your rotors are hot (you’ve been driving for a decent amount of time), or two, from braking for long distances – like when driving down a long, steep mountain road. When you are driving on mountain roads, we recommend stopping on occasion to allow your brakes to cool off. This can help you avoid warped rotors.
Brakes are your first line of defense out there on the road. If you’re ever in doubt on whether or not you need new brakes, stop by our shop on the corner of Commerce Ave and Tennant Way for a brake inspection. Let’s stay safe out there, and keep our adventures on the road!