Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your car to maintain, but they are also one of the easiest to forget about. Fortunately, there are several signs that a cautious driver can watch for that can help you avoid brake problems before they start. Here are three warning signs that could indicate a problem with your brakes.
Healthy brakes are silent brakes. Brake pads come with a sensor that makes a loud squealing sound when your brakes have worn enough that they need to be replaced. You should take heed as soon as you hear this sound, as it will not be long until your brakes wear down to a dangerous level.
If you are hearing a grinding sound when you hit your brakes, you should be especially concerned and replace your brake pads immediately. Grinding normally occurs when your brakes have worn completely and the metal calipers that hold them in place are now coming in contact with your brake rotors. This is a very unsafe condition for your vehicle that prevents you from stopping effectively and can cause serious damage to the calipers.
Excessive Vibration When Braking
If your brakes are in good condition, your vehicle will come to a smooth stop as long as you are applying gentle pressure to the brake pedal. Vibration when braking can have a few different causes, all of which are problematic and need to be diagnosed by a professional mechanic.
One of the most common causes of vibration when braking is warped rotors. Rotors that are shaped correctly will have a flat, smooth surface in contact with the brake pads at all times when braking. Warped rotors have dips and bulges on their surface that cause the vibration. If your rotors are warped, your brake pads may intermittently lose contact with the rotors, increasing the amount of time it takes for your vehicle to stop.
Brake Pads are Visibly Worn
Peering in through the spokes of your vehicle's wheels is one of the most reliable ways to determine if your brake pads are worn. You will see the rotor, which is a large metal disc, and the caliper, which looks like a clamp that is fitted over the outer edge of the rotor. Between the caliper and rotor you will see the outer brake pad. If your brake pads appear to be thinner than a quarter of an inch, it is time to have them replaced.
Use these tips to identify common signs of brake problems so that you and your loved ones can stay safe on the road. And if you notice any of these signs, it is important that you take your car in to a local auto repair shop, such as Gwizz Auto Group, a soon as possible.