Some car maintenance is routine, and you know when it’s due. Other maintenance, however, is scheduled when the parts start to fail. Your brakes are a major safety system of your car and lucky for you, they give you warning signs when they’re due for brake service.
There are several factors in determining how long it will take for your brakes to wear out, including your own driving habits. The hot climate can also be a factor. Let’s take a look at some warning signs that signal you are in need of brake service or repair.
Warning Signs That It’s Time for Brake Service
- Squealing Noise – Squealing or squeaking is the first symptom you’ll notice when your brake pads are worn down. They should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid damage to your rotors.
- Grinding Noise – If you go too long with squealing brakes, they will eventually wear through and you will hear a metal-on-metal grinding noise. Grinding could also be an indicator of lack of lubrication in vehicles with rear drum brakes. You should head to your mechanic right away if you hear a grinding noise. Continuing to drive in this condition will cause more damage and can be dangerous.
- Vibration or Wobbling – If your rotors are warped, they have created uneven brake pad wear and your vehicle will vibrate. Even a tiny difference in disc thickness can cause a wobbly feeling when you brake. There are other causes of wheel vibration and your mechanic can help you pinpoint the problem.
- Soft Brake Pedal – When you apply the brakes, fluid is pushed through thin piping, creating hydraulic pressure. If you lose any fluid, there may not be enough power to force the brake pads to clamp hard to the rotors. Soft brakes could also be air or moisture in the braking system or a problem with the master cylinder. If your brake pedal goes all the way to the floor, you should schedule brake service or repair immediately.
- Burning Smell – A burning smell after repeated braking is a sign of overheated brakes. Pull over as soon as possible to allow the brakes to cool. If you see smoke coming from a wheel, it may be a stuck brake caliper and is unsafe to continue driving without repair.
Take Care of Your Brakes to Stay Safe
We recommend having your brakes inspected at least once every six months. Not every brake problem is an emergency that will cost you. But, your safety depends on your brakes and you want to be sure. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, let our expert brake techs provide a diagnosis. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for brake service today!