5 Warning Signs Of A Brake Problem
The ability to stop in time is the most basic requirement for any vehicle. That makes the braking system one of the most critical functions of your car. It’s not enough to have “working” brakes. You need brakes that work perfectly in every situation because your life and the lives of other people depend on it. Although everyone agrees, brake problems often go undetected until it’s too late. Most mishaps resulting from inefficient braking can be avoided if fixed in time.
Why Braking Problems Often Go Undetected
For a trained mechanic, brake problems are easy to detect and fix. But, many people are either unaware that their brakes are failing or don’t pay enough attention to the warning signs. Brakes rarely fail all of a sudden. The efficiency gets eroded gradually over a long period of time, which gives you time to get used to the performance degradation. So, you may not notice the problem until you have a close call or someone else drives your car.
The braking system of your car is sturdy and the components are made to last, but they won’t last forever. The life of the components depends on the amount of use, usage pattern and usage conditions. So, it’s important to watch out for the warning signs of brake deterioration.
Before we go further, it’s important to understand that checking or repairing the brakes is not a DIY (do it yourself) job. Never attempt to diagnose or perform any repairs yourself. Doing so can be disastrous and could also get you into serious legal trouble.
The Warning Signs Of Faulty Brakes
Get the problem checked and fixed by a qualified mechanic when you notice any of these five warning signs.
1. A squealing or grinding sound when brakes are applied
Abnormal noises, especially squealing noise, when you apply the brakes are signs of trouble. Squealing sounds are usually generated due to metallic surfaces rubbing against each other. Chances are that your brake pads are worn out and braking surfaces are coming into direct contact. If this is the case, your mechanic will replace the brake pads.
2. The steering column or brake pedal vibrates when the car comes to a stop
Abnormal vibrations while stopping are usually a sign of faulty brake rotors. Over the years, the brake rotors tend to get warped. Rotors are not visible and hence, the vibration in the steering wheel or the pedal is the only sign that you will get. Although rotors can sometimes be repaired, it’s best to replace them.
3. Degradation in brake performance
If you notice that you have to press the brake pedal harder to stop in time or if your car takes too long to come to a stop, get your brakes checked without delay. Considering that you can adjust to gradual degradation of braking efficiency, take it seriously when some other person driving your car complains about the brakes. Operating a vehicle with an impaired braking system is negligence if not recklessness. Should it result in an accident, you could be in serious legal trouble.
4. Fluid leakage or a soft brake pedal
If you notice that the brake pedal gets depressed far too easily, it’s a sign of problem with the hydraulics of your braking system. Often, the problem is due to a leakage of braking fluid. Get your car checked immediately.
5. Burning smell or smoke near the wheels after stopping
Smoke or burning smell near the wheels could be a sign of brake problems. Get it checked without delay.
If you suspect that your car is not braking correctly or if you notice any of the warning signs, promptly get it checked by a qualified mechanic. Never ignore the problem, procrastinate or try to investigate or fix it yourself.
All vehicles have complex braking systems. Brake inspection is a part of routine service at reputed garages like Volksmaster. Regular servicing is the best way to keep your car roadworthy, efficient and safe. If you live in or around Manchester, contact our garage in Oldham or Bury for quality service.
Call us today to book an appointment, see the telephone numbers at the bottom of the page, or complete the short enquiry form directly below. We look forward to hearing from you soon.