Most vehicles have disc brakes, a hydraulic system with brake pads, calipers and rotors. When you step on the brake pedal, the padded calipers squeeze the rotor, slowing the car. While brakes might not be the most exciting part of a car, they are one of the most important. The last thing you want to do is step on the brake pedal and keep right on going.
Ensuring that your vehicles brakes are functioning properly is vital for you and your family’s safety. How do you know, though, that it is time to have your brakes checked? Here are four warning signs:
Your car’s front end pulling to one side or the other when you step on the brake pedal might be a sign that one of your brake pads is wearing out faster than the other. These pads help apply pressure to the rotors, slowing and stopping your vehicle. If one pad is thinner than the other, then your car can veer slightly to one side when braking.
If you hear a loud metallic grinding sound or a growling noise when you step on your brakes, then you have probably worn down your brake pads. This means that the rotor and the caliper are rubbing together and that the rotors need to be turned or replaced.
If your brake pedal vibrates or shudders or if your steering wheel wobbles when you brake, then it might mean that your rotors are warped. Rotors are generally flat and smooth, but excessive heat can alter their shape. When this happens, your brake pads cannot clamp down on the rotors as well, affecting your vehicle’s braking ability.
If you step on the brake pedal and it takes longer than it used to for the car to stop, then you probably have “brake fade,” the result of riding the brakes over time. Heat is created when the brake pads contact the rotor for too long, leading to less stopping friction each time you brake.
If you are experiencing pulling or shuddering, hearing grinding noises or taking longer to stop, then it is time for a brake check-up. Please contact us today for an appointment. Our team is standing by and can take care of all your automotive needs.