Seven Signs Your Car Needs Its Brakes Inspected
They may not be something you think about very often, but your vehicle’s brakes are one feature that should always be in top working condition. Brakes are a normal wear item and will eventually need to be replaced. But how would you know if your brakes are worn?
Here are 7 signs to look out for if your braking system need inspection:
- Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
- Pulling: If your vehicle “pulls” to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.
- Low Pedal: brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging. This could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak. One telltale sign of a brake fluid leak is the presence of a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil, but with a less “slimy” texture.
- Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.
- Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.
- Vibration: A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors (but can also indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes.
For many owners, maintaining the vehicle’s brakes is something that is often overlooked. But keeping your brakes properly calibrated and in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, and, more importantly, help you avoid a collision.