As one of the most important safety features in your vehicle, it’s essential to know the signs that your brakes may be having issues. To help out, here are some key ones to watch out for:
While you’re braking, take note of the wheel and if it turns in your hands. In some instances, your wheel may start to pull to once side while braking, which can be a sign that the brakes are wearing unevenly. It could also be an issue with your tires, wheel bearing, or brake caliper, so the cause will need to be properly diagnosed.
A grinding or squealing noise typically signals that the brake pads have worn down completely, and now the metal discs are rubbing together instead. If that goes long enough, the rotor can start to wear down, which may result in them needing to be replaced. When you hear that tell-tale sound, you should bring your vehicle in so the brake system can be properly inspected.
When driving, watch for issues like the pedal or wheel shaking/vibrating when in use. Warped rotors, caused by the parts being heated up through frequent severe braking, can cause the braking motion to not be as smooth. Additionally, brake pads are held together with an adhesive that can spread unevenly across the rotor over time, so its smooth surface becomes rough and bumpy.
An adequate brake pedal will have some resistance to it when being pressed, but a spongy one will press easily and potentially go all the way to the floorboard. This could be a sign of a leak in the braking system—air or fluid caused. If it’s a fluid leak, you could try looking under the car after its been parked a while to see if there’s a puddle.
Your brakes will naturally start to wear down over time, so they won’t be as sensitive when braking. However, there’s a point when it’s too much. Sometimes it only takes a second or two more of movement to be the difference between a collision and a close call. If your stop time has become less than ideal, then it may be time to bring it in for an inspection. It could simply need more brake fluid, or maybe a pad replacement.
If you’ve noticed any kind of change in your brakes, it’s important to bring your car in for an inspection. Superior Service Center has a location in Eagan and Apple Valley, so we can expertly serve the Southern Twin Cities.