Signs Your Vehicles Brakes May Need Service or Repair
The best way to ensure your vehicle maintenance stays as inexpensive and pain free as possible is being able to see and recognize potential issues prior to them becoming a real issue. The braking system is arguable one of the most important safety systems on your vehicle so being able to recognize issues that are slowly arising before they become a big issue is key! You also don’t need to be a braking system expert to see and identify the signs, you just have to be able to recognize some of these common symptoms.
Pulling from side to side under braking:
If your vehicle seems to want to jerk or pull in a particular direction under braking you may likely be experiencing a braking issue, your vehicle is designed to apply brake pressure evenly under normal braking conditions so if it isn’t you may need to get your vehicles brakes adjusted to correct any braking issues. In some occasions simply adding more fluid may solve the problem, having it checked out is a good idea though.
Vibration under braking:
If you begin to notice minor to heavy pulsing or vibration under braking in the brake pedal itself or in the steering wheel while under braking you may have worn our brake rotors, rotors over time can wear down or warp causing a non-flush surface to apply the pad onto, this can cause your braking system to act abnormally. This is normally a job for a technician to check out and replace worn out parts.
Noises from the braking system:
Under breaking the brake system should be fairly quiet, if you begin to notice screeching, squeaking or even grinding like noises these noises can be something as simple as a wear indicator telling you the brake pads may be low. On the flip side it could be indicating that your brake shoes or pads are improperly wearing, or seated meaning they need to be serviced. Getting your brakes checked out for this is a good idea as they may not be performing at optimal performance. as a side note waiting for brake noise is not a good indicator of break wear, breaks should be inspected periodically to ensure healthy wear, front breaks do tend to have a wear indicator which makes noise when low. Rear breaks however do not, so do not wait for noise to tell you breaks need work.
Breaks that feel Squishy or all around less effective:
If your braking system feels compromised in any way by providing a brake pedal that travels much further than usual to brake the same distance, this is an indicator of a potentially dangerous vehicle to drive. Though the issues this may represent, may be simple as glazing of the brake pads or rotors (the braking surfaces become like glass and smooth) or something more important like a failing brake cylinder or pump. This is an issue that should certainly be taken to a technician to be properly diagnosed.
Caring for your braking system is a simple process that just needs occasional maintenance and a watchful eye. As long as you keep an eye on it and keep it properly maintained your vehicle should stop on a dime every time!