If this is your first time being responsible for your vehicle maintenance, you may not know how to tell when your brakes need help. Unfortunately, failure to properly maintain your brakes can lead to serious problems, especially if your brakes go out while you're driving. Luckily, if you pay attention, your car will tell you when the brakes are wearing out. Here are four signs that you should pay attention to. If you experience any of the following problems, you should take your car in for repairs as soon as possible.
Your brake pads are equipped with a little metal piece, called an indicator. The indicator is designed to tell you when your pads are about to wear out. Once your brakes wear out, the indicator will rub against the rotor and create a very high-pitched squeal. As soon as you hear that, you should have your brake pads changed.
Brake Pedal Sinks or Is Spongy
When your brakes are new, your brake pedal will feel firm under your foot. However, as your brakes wear out, the brake pedal may begin to feel spongy under your foot. It may also sink slightly before you feel your car slow down to a stop. If your brake pedal becomes spongy, or it sinks when you place your foot on it, you'll need to have your brakes serviced as soon as possible. If your brake pedal sinks more than an inch while you're driving, pull your car over and do not drive it any further. Your brakes may be about to fail.
Pulling to the Side
Your brakes don't always wear out evenly on both sides of the car. If your brakes are wearing out unevenly, you may begin to feel your car pull to one side when you apply the brakes. This is a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced. It's important that you replace both brake pads, even if only one side has worn out.
If you hear a grinding noise when you apply the brakes, it means the brake pads have worn through to the metal bracket that holds the pad in place. If you continue to drive your car in that condition, the metal bracket will create a groove in your rotors. If that happens, you might have to have your rotors replaced along with the brake pads.
You rely on your brakes to keep you safe while you're driving. Don't take chances with your safety, or with the safety of the drivers around you. If you experience any of the warning signs described above, you'll need to have your brakes serviced as soon as possible. Contact a business, such as The Dyno Shop, for more information.