Your vehicle’s brakes need periodic maintenance to keep them functioning well. Here are some clear warning signs to help you identify when it’s time to replace them.
Almost all new cars have a brake warning indicator on the dashboard which lights up if something is wrong with the brake system. If the light appears, bring your car to the workshop for a check immediately. However, it may not appear if, for example, there is an issue with the electrical system. In such cases, keep the following other indicators in mind.
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One of the most obvious signs that your braking system is not working properly is if you need to apply extra pressure on your pedal before the brakes engage. An additional consequence of this is your braking distance increases significantly. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are traveling at a high speed. Usually, this points to worn out brake pads that need to be replaced.
Another warning symptom that your car’s brake system is not working well is when you hear squeaking, squealing or grinding noises when you brake. Grinding noises are especially serious, as they indicate that your brake pads have worn down to the point that the metal of the brake calipers are grinding against the rotor metal, and have to be replaced.
When you brake, does your car “pull” to the left or right? If this occurs, it could mean that there could be brake fluid leakage, or your brakes either need to be adjusted, or are worn out and need to be replaced. However, pulling is also caused by a number of other factors, so bring your car to a mechanic to accurately determine the cause.
Vibrations or pulsations felt through the brake pedal can mean that there are issues with the brake pads, brake discs, suspension components or alignment. A number of things can cause these problems, but the main reason is wear over time on the braking components.
A set of well-maintained brakes will go a long way in keeping yourself and others safe on the road, so even if you do not encounter any of the signs above, get your brakes inspected at least once a year by a professional mechanic.