How Can I Tell If My Brakes Are Going Bad?

Your car, truck, crossover, or SUV will give you warnings when you’re brakes are going bad. Heath’s Auto Service is going to list those warnings in this blog post. Your next step is to bring your vehicle in for a brake inspection and service or repair to ensure you aren’t driving with bad brakes. You don’t want to think about what could happen should your brakes fail and neither do we. Here are signs your brakes are failing and need to be serviced or replaced.

Dashboard Warning Light

Your dashboard has a brake warning light that illuminates when you have the parking brake set or if there is a problem. The light should never turn on while you drive or when you press on the brake pedal. If it does, your vehicle’s onboard computer is telling you the brake system returned an error, i.e., something is wrong and you should have the brakes checked as soon as possible.

Strange Noises

Your brakes shouldn’t sound like a mouse nor should they grind. Some brake pads are manufactured with what is called wear indicators. When the pads get to the indicators, they’ll squeak while you drive. You’ll notice the noise stops when you stop your vehicle, so you might not think it’s the brakes. It could be the pad wear indicators telling you it’s time to replace the pads. You already know that if you hear grinding, you’re listening to your brake pads scrape against the rotors. It’s time for new pads.

Odd Sensations

Your car might pull to one side when you brake if there is a problem with a caliper. It could also wobble or vibrate when you brake if your rotors are wearing down unevenly. You’ll feel the movement underneath your foot or your hands. If the brakes are causing the vibration, it’s usually felt on the brake pedal or steering wheel. You may also feel your brake pedal sink underneath your foot, which is never a good thing. It should always give you the same resistance. It shouldn’t feel spongy.

Fluid Issues

Finally, your brakes might begin to leak brake fluid if you have a problem with your brake lines or master cylinder. Brake fluid is slick – very oily – and is usually light brown. If the brakes overheat, you’ll notice a chemical smell. This hot, burning smell signals danger. Brakes that overheat cause the fluid to boil and boiling brake fluid will cause brake failure. It’s best to pull over and call for a tow.

Call Heath’s Auto Service is located in Flagstaff, AZ. We’ll inspect your brakes, find what’s wrong, and recommend an affordable solution.

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