Even though your brakes may not be the most attractive part of your vehicle, they are certainly one of the most critical ones. Paying close attention to all the warning signs which indicate a requirement for service can mean all the difference between life and death when driving.
A few signs suggest that your vehicle’s braking system needs servicing, like the brake lights appearing on your vehicle’s dashboard or the feeling that your car is taking longer than it should in order to stop.
In either case, you need to visit your nearest mechanic for a brake inspection as soon as possible. But are you aware of all the other signs which could indicate that you have a faulty braking system? Our team from Aloha Auto Repair has put together five significant telltale signs which may help you put your brake inspection on a priority.
Worn out brake pads
Most vehicles nowadays use what is known as a disc brake. These brakes are very much similar to the brakes found on a 10-speed bicycle.
A hydraulic system full of brake fluid helps in triggering a set of calipers, causing them to squeeze together on the vehicle’s rotor disc. The friction which occurs between the rotor and the pads stops the vehicle.
With time, these brake pads begin to wear thin, forcing them to become less effective at stopping and slowing your car. Fortunately for you, checking your vehicle’s brake pads’ thickness is a fairly straightforward procedure that can be done without much effort.
All you need to do is take a look between the spokes of your vehicle’s wheels in order to spot a shiny metal rotor inside. After you found your rotor, you need to look around towards its outer edge, where you should see a metal caliper.
Between the metal caliper and the rotor, you will find your pad. The idle size of the thickness of these brake pads should be at least 1/4 of an inch. If you notice that your car’s brake pads are any thinner than that, it would be best if you got them changed.
If your vehicle’s wheels are not designed so that you can access your spokes, you will probably have to remove the tire to see the pads and rotor.
In either case, when you are looking, it would be best if you inspect the rotor itself. Your rotor needs to be relatively smooth, and if you see any grooves or pits on the surface, it suggests that it’s time to get your rotors checked and probably replaced.
One of the most common signs that suggest your vehicle needs to get a brake checkup is sound. If you notice that your braking system has been emitting a high-pitched squeal, it means that you need to get your pads replaced.
In addition to the squeal from your vehicle’s sensor, you also need to listen for a harsh grinding sound. If you hear this harsh grinding, it suggests that you have completely worn out your brake pads, and when you apply your brakes, the metal of the calipers is directly grinding against your rotor.
This is not only an ineffective way to stop your vehicle, but it also damages your rotors, turning a relatively easy and inexpensive job into a significantly costly rotor resurfacing or even replacement project.
Have you ever felt like your car has a mind of its own? As if your car wants to make a left- or right-hand turn during braking or driving? If so, then this could indicate that you have some problem with your braking system.
One of the most common reasons for this to happen is having a stuck caliper. Since such a scenario would cause friction on a particular wheel and not on the others, your car tends to pull towards the side where the caliper is stuck.
The other brake-related scenario which could cause your car to pull towards a particular side would be collapsed brake hose, which can cause your calipers to move unevenly when you apply the brakes. Having uneven brake pads can also result in different amounts of pressure on other wheels.
Nevertheless, pulling does not always have to indicate a problem with your vehicle’s braking system. Unevenly inflated or worn tires, problems with your vehicle’s suspension, or poor alignment could also result in your car pulling towards a particular side. No matter the cause of your situation, you need to get it checked as soon as possible.
Have you ever had to execute an emergency stop in your vehicle? If yes, you are familiar with the rapid brake pedal pulsing, which happens due to the quick grabs your vehicle’s system applies to the rotor to slow your car down.
Nevertheless, if you feel the same amount of brake pedal pulses under normal braking circumstances, your vehicle may have a problem.
Generally, a vibrating brake pedal indicates that your vehicle has warped rotors. Their uneven surfaces will end up thrumming them against your vehicle’s brake pads, and what you feel is the feedback through your vehicle’s brake pedal.
In addition to thrumming, your vehicle’s brake pedal can also give you another indication that your vehicle’s braking system needs examination.
If your vehicle has a mushy pedal that goes practically to the floor before the brakes engage, it could indicate that you have a problem with your hydraulic systems, such as the airline, an air leak, or low brake fluid.
The opposite of a mushy pedal causes your vehicle to brake immediately at the slightest touch. This could indicate having dirty brake fluid, unevenly worn rotor, or contamination of fluid as a result of moisture.
Nevertheless, both these situations will make your vehicle’s brake pedal extremely hard to operate and requires you to get them checked immediately.
Get in touch with Aloha Auto today!
If you feel like your vehicle is not stopping as it should, you need to bring it to our professionals immediately.
Serving all vehicle owners living in Allen, Texas, Aloha Auto Repair can help you take care of all your vehicle needs without any effort.
Our professionals have more than enough experience in the field to do justice to your vehicle. If you live in or around Allen and hope to get your car serviced, give us a call at 469-617-6121 or contact us online today!