Though driver assistance suites and features have come a long way, and certainly make your vehicle safer, your brakes are still one of the most important pieces of safety equipment in your car, and it’s important that they’re in good working order. Look for these seven warning signs that you’re in need of a brake service.
1. The Brake Light Is On
If the brake indicator lights up on your dashboard, you should know it’s time to pay attention to your brakes. Though there might not be an immediate problem, many vehicles are programmed to display the light when it’s time to have your brakes inspected. If this light comes on, be sure to head to a trusted local auto shop, like ours, to diagnose the issue.
If you hear a metallic squeal or squeak when you apply the brakes, it’s most likely the sound of the brake pad wear indicators, letting you know that your pads are worn out and need to be replaced. A grinding sound may indicate that your pads have completely worn through, and are now creating grooves in the rotor, which is never good.
3. Wobbling And Scraping
Feeling a shaking, vibrating, wobbling, or scraping sensation when you apply the brakes is often a sign that your rotors may be rusted or uneven. Another possible diagnosis is that the brake caliper isn’t releasing properly.
4. Spongy Or Soft Brakes
If you’re pushing on the brake pedal, and it feels “softer” or like it goes all the way to the floor when you press it, it’s a sign that your brakes need service as soon as possible. There could be air or moisture in the braking system or an issue with the master cylinder, so don’t delay having your entire braking system looked at.
5. Leaking Fluid
If your brakes are feeling soft, they could also be leaking fluid, again indicating a problem with the master cylinder.
6. Car Pulling To One Side When Braking
This issue has two potential roots: a brake hose that’s gone bad or a caliper problem. It’s important to have your brakes looked at immediately if you experience this symptom.
7. Burning Smell While Driving
The chemical burning odor you may smell indicated overheated brakes or an overheated clutch. Be sure to pull over as soon as you safely can, ensure your parking brake is disengaged, and allow the brakes to cool down.
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