5 Signs That You Need Brake Repair or Replacement
Knowing when you need brake repair can prove to be a matter of life or death. Many vehicle owners are either ignore, or in most cases, are not aware of the signs that indicate brake repair.
To keep your brakes in proper working order, and possibly save your life, all drivers should know how to spot the basic signs that show you need brake repair or replacement.Let’s review the five brake repair or replacement signs:
1. Pulling Indicates Brake Repair
When brakes start to wear out, the vehicle may begin to pull to the left or right when trying to stop. A simple way to check if your vehicle is pulling, is to drive straight and once you reach about 30 MPH, apply the brakes. Take notice to whether your car pulls to one side or the other as you come to a stop. If it does, you should bring your vehicle to a professional to see if you need brake repair or replacement.
2. Brake Pedal Pulsates When Pressed
The second indicator that you may be in immediate need for brake repair or replacement is a throbbing sensation and/or sound when applying the brakes. When your brakes become too worn you put extra stress on them when stopping. The extra stress can create additional heat, which in turn causes brake parts to warp. This uneven surface of your can brake components can cause vibration and pulsations. In order to correctly diagnose whether you will need brake repair (machining of the brake rotors) or brake replacement (new rotors and new brake pads), you should bring your car to a brake specialist who will remove the wheels and inspect each brake component.
3. Brakes Make Noise
One of the most obvious signs of worn-out brake pads or damaged brake rotors is noise that can be heard when braking and/or when driving. Noise that can be heard when braking such as clicking, grinding, or squeaking are also good indicators that a brake repair inspection should be done. If your vehicles makes a screeching sound when when your driving and not applying the brakes, this is also a sign. Modern brake components are designed to make noise when they are in need of replacement. This sound is meant to be an alert that you must repair or replace your brakes soon. If your brakes are making sounds when you stop, or continuously when driving, you should make an appointment with your local brake repair shop as soon as possible. Waiting too long can cause worn out brake pads to damage the brake rotors beyond repair. Replacing the brake rotors can double, or triple the cost of brake repair depending on your vehicle type. If you hear noises that seem to becoming from your wheels, don’t wait to get them checked.
4. Brake Pads Look Too Thin
On many vehicles today you can do your own visual inspection of your brake pads and rotors to determine if you need brake repair or replacement. If you can see your brake components through your rims (see diagram), try and take a look at your brake pads. A worn out brake pad will be only about 3mm in thickness. If the brake pad on your disk brakes is 3mm or less you should make an appointment for brake repair as quickly as possible.
IMPORTANT: Proper brake repair or replacement inspection requires removing all four wheels of your vehicle, as well as precise measurement of brake pads based on your vehicle manufactures specifications. It is always best to have brake inspections done by a professional.
5. Brake Warning Light
If the brake warning light on your dashboard is on, this is probably the most clear indicator that you need brake repair or replacement.
Most newer vehicles contain multiple sensors that will alert the driver when there is a brake problem. The light may indicate something simple like brake fluid at a low level, or something more serious like failure or malfunction of your ABS (Automatic Brake System). Further, many vehicles also have electronic sensors on the brake pads which will cause the brake warning light to come on when the pads are in need of replacement. A brake repair shop with the correct equipment can scan your vehicle for important codes that will indicate what the problem maybe in a few minutes. If see your brake warning indicator light come on, bring your vehicle to your brake specialist as fast as possible.
In summary, there are five basic signs that that can be used to help indicate whether your car, truck or SUV are in need of repair or replacement.