Your car’s brakes should always be in top condition if you want to drive safely and efficiently. Because brakes are constantly used while driving, they are prone to wear and tear. About 300,000 car crashes yearly are caused by brake failure in the U.S.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a car nut who can discern if there’s something wrong with their brakes. Hence, car owners must identify early signs that their vehicle might need immediate brake repair.
- Indicators Your Car Needs Brake Repair At Once
- ABS or Brake Warning Light Turns On
- Grinding Noise When Stopping
- Soft Brake Pedal
- Hard Brake Pedal
- Vibrating Brakes
- Pulling To One Side
- Driveway Puddle
- Burning Smell
- Questions You Should Ask A Brake Repair Service Company
Indicators Your Car Needs Brake Repair At Once
1. ABS or Brake Warning Light Turns On
Always watch the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) warning on your car’s dashboard. When its icon lights up, it means that the sensors detected a malfunction with your braking system.
Some of the possible reasons why this could have happened include:
- The brake master cylinder has low brake fluid levels
- The parking brake or the sensors in the brake system could be defective
- The ABS module has an issue
- The emergency or parking brake was unknowingly activated
The best action you can take when this happens is to take your car to a reliable auto repair shop or mechanic for a thorough inspection.
2. Grinding Noise When Stopping
Squealing or grinding noise while stopping is one of the most common indicators that your car needs immediate brake repair.
This issue usually occurs because the brake pads have worn thin and are now grinding against another metal component called the caliper. As a result, your vehicle has to cover more distance before it completely stops.
3. Soft Brake Pedal
If you feel that your brake pedals are soft or extremely sensitive whenever you step on them, it’s a clear sign that the brake pads are heavily worn out. Sometimes, it could also mean an issue with the brake lanes or a possible brake fluid leak.
We recommend bringing your car to a car service if your brakes jerk your vehicle when stopping at the gentlest step on the brake. Your mechanic will likely recommend changing the brake fluid.
4. Hard Brake Pedal
Aside from a soft brake pedal, it would help if you also were wary of the opposite. If your feet nearly reach the floor while pushing the pedal for it to be engaged, then it has a severe problem. It could be that the brake fluid is running low or air has gotten into the brake fluid.
In other cases, it might also have a problem with the hydraulic system, or the brake pads might have thinned out. Be sure to take it to a certified mechanic who can diagnose the problem correctly.
5. Vibrating Brakes
Another standard signal you should look out for is when your brake vibrates whenever you slow the car. The car’s rotor, the component where the brakes grab on when your car slows, might have become warped. When this happens, your vehicle will require more distance before stopping.
In most cases, you will need to replace the warped rotors so they won’t hinder the braking process.
6. Pulling To One Side
When you hit your brakes, your vehicle should always continue straight. However, if it pulls to one side, be it left or right, it’s a sign that your brake pads have uneven wear.
This issue needs to be fixed soon if you want better car handling and to prevent accidents. Another reason your car pulls to one side when braking is a malfunctioning of contaminated brake fluid or a wheel cylinder.
7. Driveway Puddle
You will notice a puddle on your driveway or under the car when there’s a leak in your brake system. However, not all fluid puddles are brake fluid. Leaked brake fluid looks identical to fresh motor oil, albeit not as slimy. The clear fluid also has a yellow to dark brown color.
The location of the puddle can also give further clues to the issue. Finding the leak near or on your car’s wheels indicates a brake caliper problem. Meanwhile, if the puddle is in the vehicle’s center or rear, it could mean the brake lines or master cylinder is leaking.
8. Burning Smell
If you’ve been ignoring your car brakes for so long, you will start noticing a burning smell similar to a sharp, chemical odor. This problem happens because your brakes have overheated.
If you see any smoke coming from the car’s wheel, the brake caliper might have locked in place because of the malfunction. Make sure to pull over to a safe place and let the brakes cool to avoid further damage.
Questions You Should Ask A Brake Repair Service Company
Unless you know how to fix a car, chances are you are getting your vehicle to an auto repair shop or mechanic to get its brakes repaired. Before you agree to get their services, here are a few questions you should ask to ensure that they can get the job done:
- What is the turn-around time? How many days will it take them to get the brakes fixed, and can they offer same-day service?
- What services are included? Some auto repair shops offer a low price to replace brake pads. However, they will raise the repair cost if they discover other issues. Meanwhile, complete brake maintenance usually involves adjusting the braking mechanism, flushing the old brake fluid, and resurfacing rotors.
- Do they have the fitting spare parts? Ask them where they get their replacement parts and if they have quality control to ensure these products are of excellent quality.
- Do they offer discounts and other promos? There’s no harm in asking if you can get more bang for your buck. Most service centers have seasonal promos that customers can take advantage of.
Every auto owner must keep their brakes in proper working order. It will improve the car’s performance and guarantee the driver’s and passengers’ security.
Dependable Car Care provides the best auto care and maintenance at a price you can afford. With the most up-to-date equipment and thorough training, our qualified auto mechanics can handle any repair job. We also provide auto AC repair and hybrid repair.
You may schedule a service appointment on our website, so don’t hesitate to contact us. Call us at (805- 918-5286).