Seven Signs My Car’s Brakes Are Going Bad and Need to Be Repaired

The general recommendation for brake service is to have your brakes inspected every 12,000 miles. This usually equates to about once a year. When you think about how crucial your brake system is to your vehicle’s safety, you realize this is a small sacrifice to make. CAR FIX in Maryville, Tennessee would be happy to inspect your brake system. If you are experiencing any of the signs of brake trouble listed below, bring your vehicle to our shop right away.

1. ABS or Brake Warning Light

The ABS light is a warning light to alert you that there is a problem with the antilock brake system. The Brake light is a warning light to alert you that there is a problem with the brake system as well as a light to remind you that the parking brake is set. If either of these lights come on other than when you first start your automobile or have the parking brake set, your vehicle is experiencing brake problems.

2. Brake Fluid Leaking Out of the System

A brake fluid leak can actually cause the brakes to fail. This is because the brake system needs the fluid to press the calipers against the brake pads. This, in turn, pushes the brake pads against the rotors. This is what stops your automobile. Brake fluid is usually brown or red. If you see spots of this color on the garage floor near the inside of your wheels, your brake system is leaking.

3. Burning Smells and Squealing Sounds

Squealing sounds accompanied by hot odors are an indication that your brake system is overheating. As with brake fluid leaks, overheated brakes cannot stop your automobile. This is because the brake pads and rotors glaze, which means they smooth out. When they are smooth, they cannot generate the friction needed to slow down and stop.

4. Pulling to One Side When Braking

When you apply your brakes, your vehicle’s direction should not change. In some cases, however, you may have a stuck caliper that will make your vehicle pull in the direction of that caliper. In other words, it will pull to the left or right when you step on the brake pedal. This problem can be repaired by replacing the stuck caliper with a new one.

5. Squishy Brake Pedal With No Resistance

Your brake pedal should offer you the same resistance no matter how many times you use it. If your vehicle has power brakes, and most vehicles do these days, the brake pedal should stop at about 1 1/2 inches from the floorboard. If your brake pedal feels squishy or sinks all the way to the floor, it’s possible you have a problem with air in the brake lines or the master cylinder.

6. Strange Noises When You Brake

Unless you have to slam on your brakes and burn rubber, you shouldn’t hear anything when you apply the brakes. If you hear squealing, squeaking, grinding, or scraping noises, you have a problem with the brake system that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Most likely, the problem is that you only have 1/4-of-an-inch or less of brake pad surface left.

7. Strange Vibrations When You Brake

Finally, braking your automobile should be smooth. You shouldn’t feel your car, truck, or C/SUV vibrate or wobble. If you do, this is a sign that there is road debris stuck in the calipers or that your rotor surfaces are warped. After miles and miles of being pressed by the brake pads, the rotor surfaces can get warped and will need to be recut.

CAR FIX in Maryville, TN, would be happy to inspect your vehicle’s brakes and make any repairs that are necessary. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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