Did you know, when traveling over 60 miles per hour, it takes your car about the length of a football field (100 yards) to come to a sudden and complete stop? Your brakes are the most important part of your vehicle, which is why they need to be well-maintained.
If you notice any of the following warning signs, it’s imperative to get a brake system check immediately:
1. Worn Pads
Worn brake pads are dangerous because they are less effective in stopping your car. In order to know if your brake pads are worn, you must first know how they work. Every time you press on your brakes, a set of padded clamps (or brake pads) squeeze together onto a disc (known as the rotor). This creates friction and stops the car. Over time, the brake pads wear thin. If you’ve never had your brake pads replaced, bring your car into Christian Brothers Automotive and our certified technicians will examine their condition.
2. Odd Sounds
Cars have a small indicator located in the braking system that senses when brake pads are worn. This indicator releases a high-pitched sound to signify the brake pads need replacing. In addition to the sensor’s squealing sound, you might notice a grinding sound. The longer you wait to replace worn brake pads, the more expensive the repair could be. When the brake pad is completely worn, the brake begins to damage the rotor. Damaged rotors are expensive, so it’s important to avoid this repair.
Does your car pull off to one side while braking? This could be a problem with the brake system. If the pads have worn unevenly, they will apply different amounts of pressure.
When your car has an anti-lock brake system (ABS), it’s normal to feel pulsing or small vibrations on sudden stops. However, if those vibrations occur under normal braking conditions, there may be an issue. Vibrating brakes could indicate distorted rotors. If your brakes aren’t stopping unless you push them all the way to floor, or they brake at the slightest touch, these are also signs something is wrong.
Brake Failure Warning Signs
Efficient, healthy brakes are vital to your safety and the performance of your car. How can you tell when your brakes are in need of repair? Learn to recognize the warning signs of brake problems—before you experience brake failure with these tips.
Brake fluid is low and/or appears dirty
Brake warning light comes on while driving
Grinding or squealing sound when brake pedal is pressed
The brake pedal feels “spongy” when pressed
Vehicle steers or pulls to one side while brake pedal is pushed
Stay safe as you drive with regular brake checks
Properly maintained brake pads and rotors will help your car last a long time. If there are any signs of a compromised brake system, call Christian Brothers Automotive for a brake inspection today.
** Editor's Note: This blog was published in August of 2016 and revised on June 14, 2019 to include new information and updated industry trends.**
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