Properly maintaining your brakes is one of the most important aspects of vehicle care. After all, without brakes, your car won’t be able to stop, resulting in a dangerous crash. Surprisingly, the cost of brake repair and maintenance is lower that what you might expect. By paying attention to the behavior of your vehicle, you can solve brake problems before they get costly, and more importantly, deadly.
While driving your vehicle, occasionally turn off your radio and listen to your car. If you detect a grinding sound or squealing noise coming from any corner of your vehicle while braking, it’s likely that you may need a brake pad replacement, at the very least. Check your brake pedal also to see if it is spongy or hard to push. If you notice any brake warning lights on that is usually a good indication that something is wrong and needs attention. It’s important to take care of these problems early. Putting off a repair will lead to additional problems, such as broken rotors or loss of pressure in your brake fluid lines, compromising your safety and adding to the cost of repairs.
- DRAG – Sticking brakes, hot wheels or engine which seems to have lost power. Auto brakes may be failing to release; the condition can reverse itself, leaving you with no brakes at all. This would indicate brakes service is needed.
- PULL – Vehicle pulls to one side when brakes are applied. May be underinflated tire, misadjusted brakes or brakes are in need of car brakes repair.
- HARD PEDAL – Requires extreme pressure to make brakes function. Can indicate power brake trouble, restricted hydraulic lines, frozen calipers or wheel cylinders, or damaged brake linings
- BRAKE LIGHTS – Red indicates a problem as simple as the parking brake on, or low fluid, to something as serious as a hydraulic system failure. Yellow indicates deactivation of your ABS system. While your brakes should work, it does require inspection at the first opportunity.
- VIBRATION – Brake pedal, steering wheel or entire vehicle shakes, vibrates or pulsates when brake is applied. May indicate need to resurface disc brake rotors – or signal a serious problem of a loose component or faulty steering mechanism.
- SQUEAL – Brakes should operate with a minimal amount of noise. Some noise is normal but excessive squeal, screech, grinding, groaning, chatter, clatter or bang means your brakes need of car brakes repair.
- LOW PEDAL – Pedal nearly touches floorboard before brakes function. May activate your brake warning light. Problem may require a simple adjustment – or indicate something much more serious.
- GRAB – “Touchy” brakes that grab with the least pressure. May indicate a problem as simple as grease or oil contaminated linings – or as serious as loose or broken component ready to fail in an emergency.
Functional brakes are extremely important to your safety. It is suggested that you have your brake systems checked at least once a year. If you are noticing any symtoms or problems with your brakes stop by D.R.I.V.E. Automotive and have one of our experienced technicians perform a brake inspection. If our inspection reveals they do require repair, we will explain exactly what’s required, what’s optional and provide you with a written estimate before any work is done.