Millions of American households own cars with brakes in need of repair. In fact, there were 58.5 million households that were in need of brake repair in spring 2017.
Without properly functioning brakes, your car could run into serious problems. Not only is it unpleasant to drive with problem brakes. It’s actually dangerous and can lead to accidents if they aren’t fixed in a timely manner.
So, what are the signs that a car needs brake repair?
Read on to find out!
1. Screeching and Grinding Sounds
Does your car produce a screeching, squealing, or grinding sound every time you press on the brakes?
This is the telltale sign that your car is need of brake repair. These sounds indicate that your brake pads are worn down due to frequent usage.
It’s bound to happen sooner or later. Of course, certain models of cars have better brakes than others. Because of this, certain cars may not need repairs for years while others may need them sooner.
No matter the car you drive, regular usage is often the culprit behind worn out brakes. The sooner you fix them, the better.
Worn brake pads can cause further damage to the brake line. This can cause further damage to the car and result in heftier repair costs.
The bottom line: Whenever your car makes high-pitched or unusual sounds when you use the brakes, it’s time to take it to the auto shop.
Do you feel a pulsating sensation any time you rest or press your foot on the brake pedal? Do you feel the same pulsating vibration when your hands are on the wheel?
These signs certainly show that something is wrong with your car. But if these signs arise while you use the brakes, they can point to problems with the brake rotors.
The brake rotors are what creates friction with the brake pads. This makes it possible for the brake pads to work and stop a car.
When they become warped, however, they no longer have a smooth surface to make way for the braking. This is what causes the brake pedal to vibrate. In more serious cases, the vibration can result in a pulsating wheel, as well.
Vibrations on the brake pedal or wheel may not always indicate the need for brake repair. Regardless, it’s important to get the situation checked out.
3. Spongy Brakes
Do you find yourself having to press all the way down to the floor for the brakes to work? Are your brake pads simply less responsive and effective than they used to be?
If it’s taking longer for your brake pads to respond, it usually means they’re worn out.
Brake pads that take longer to respond to pressure are dangerous. Worn out brake pads can compromise your vehicle’s ability to stop properly. This can lead to accidents with other vehicles and pedestrians.
You shouldn’t have to apply much pressure on your brake pads for them to work. If you’re having to apply more pressure, or are practically pressing the brake pedal all the way to the floor, it’s likely time for brake repair.
If you recently had your brakes repaired, there may be air trapped in the brake line. Air can cause a loss of pressure, which may be why you’re having to press down harder on the brake pads. Brake fluid leaks can also cause spongy brakes.
Check the area around your tires. If there is a brownish or clear liquid accumulating around them, it may be brake fluid. Get your car in an auto shop immediately!
Does your car turn to the left or right when you press on the brakes?
Every vehicle should stay in a straight line whenever a driver presses on the brakes. If a car pulls or sways in a different direction when the car brakes, it can point to uneven wear and tear on the brakes.
This unevenness means that one of the brake wheel cylinders grabs faster than the other. It can also indicate that one of the brake wheel cylinders is stuck, or that there is an issue with the brake fluid.
5. ABS Light
The Antilock Braking System reads as an ABS Light on the dashboard of every car. If this light turns on, the sensors have detected an issue with the brake system.
Any time the ABS Light flicks on, it’s time to head to the shop for brake repair.
6. High Mileage and Frequent Stopping
Unusual sounds and problems with braking almost always mean that something is wrong with the brakes. But what if your vehicle is need of brake repair and there are no signs indicating so?
Every driver should pay attention to where they drive, as well as how often. Drivers who live in populated areas with busy streets likely use their brakes more than others. Those who live in more rural areas with less traffic don’t use their brakes as often as those who live in major cities, for example.
Those who use their brakes more often should pay extra attention. Regular usage can wear down the brake pads and the brake line. Frequent use of the brakes can also increase the chances of something happening to the system.
Higher mileage may not always mean you should pay more attention to your brakes. Again, it has more to do with how often you use your brakes.
Still, if you drive frequently, you should take your vehicle in for a regular checkup. That way, if something is going wrong with the brake system, you can fix the problem before it becomes a huge expense.
Is It Time for Brake Repair?
A problem with a vehicle’s brakes should never go ignored. The brake system is one of the most important parts of a vehicle, and there are a number of things that can go wrong with it.
The sooner you take your vehicle in for brake repair, the better. You can avoid accidents and higher repair costs bringing your vehicle in sooner.
Do you live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Are you currently experiencing problems with your brakes?
Talk to the experts at Lee’s Car Care! We can assess your vehicle and diagnose any problems that need repairing. Contact us today!