Posted on: 02/10/2014
The ability to brake is the most important function of your car. That's why it's so important to pay attention to the warning signs: it can mean the difference between life and death. Check out the three questions you should ask to see if your brakes need a service in the blog below.
1. Can you hear a squeak?
One of the warning signs that your brakes need servicing can come from a small indicator in your braking system that emits a high-pitched squeal when your pads need replacing.
In addition to the squeal from the sensor, you'll also want to listen for a harsh grinding sound. This means that you've gone completely through your brake pads and now, when you apply the brakes, the metal of the calipers is grinding against the metal of your rotors. If you ignore these signs, you could end up causing irreparable damage to your car, and could risk lives on the road.
2. Is there a funny sensation in your brakes?
A mushy pedal could indicate worn pads or a problem with the hydraulic system, such as air in the line, an air leak or a brake fluid leak. To check for a fluid leak, put an old white sheet or piece of light cardboard under the car overnight. In the morning, examine any fluid that collects. Brake fluid will be practically clear and the consistency of cooking oil.
On the other end of the scale, your brakes could grab immediately at the slightest touch. This can indicate an unevenly worn rotor, dirty brake fluid or contamination of the fluid by moisture. You can solve such a problem with a relatively inexpensive change of fluid that you could do yourself.
3. Does your car pull?
Has your car ever felt like it has a mind of its own? As if it wants to make right- or left-hand turns while driving or braking?
If so, this could indicate a problem with the braking system. The cause of this pulling might be a stuck caliper. Because such a scenario would cause friction on one wheel and not the others, your car can pull to the side where the caliper is stuck.
Two other brake-related scenarios that could cause a car to pull would be a collapsed brake hose that would cause your calipers to move unevenly when applying the brakes, or uneven brake pads, which would also apply different amounts of pressure to different wheels.
Source: How Stuff Works
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