Look Out for These 3 Signs That Your Brakes Are Failing

Posted on: 4 September 2018

The brakes are one of the most significant components of your car. They will ensure your safety on the road as well as that of other road users. That's why your brakes should always be in perfect working condition. However, just like any other component of your car, the brakes may fail or pick up a problem or two down the line. Knowing when this happens will save you from costly repairs as well as from causing accidents on the road (in severe cases). Fortunately, your car will give you some warning signs when the brakes start failing. Here are a few to watch out for.

Noisy Brakes

Normal or properly functioning brakes should operate quietly. Therefore, you should be alarmed if you start hearing unusual sounds when you step on the brakes. The sounds will often start as a simple clicking noise that can develop into a squeak, screech or squeal, and they will eventually become grinding noises if you continue ignoring them. In most cases, noisy brakes are a sign of a problem with the brake pads. Brake pads have a metal shim around them that serves as an indicator to alert you when they start wearing out.

As the brake pads wear down, the metal shim will start coming into contact with the brake rotors, producing a clicking sound in the initial stages. It's often hard to notice this sound, especially if your windows are down or you are listening to loud music. However, as the wearing down progresses, you will start hearing screeching, squealing, or squeaking sounds. This happens due to the metal-to-metal contact between the individual brake pads and the brake rotors. If you ignore the sounds at this stage, you will start hearing grinding sounds. This is quite dangerous because it indicates that brake pads are completely worn out. If you continue driving at this point, you risk damaging the brake rotors as well, which will be much more expensive to repair or replace.

Soft Brake Pedal

A soft brake pedal is one that feels spongy and sinks all the way to the bottom of your car when you step on it. In most cases, this is a sign that you are running low on brake fluid (possibly due to a leak) or that there's air in your brake lines. Have your mechanic check the car as soon as possible.

Vehicle Pulling on One Side of The Road When Braking

Your vehicle pulling to one side of the road can indicate a range of car problems, including poor wheel alignment and suspension issues. However, if it occurs only when braking, your brakes are likely the culprit. A brake calliper problem or a failing brake hose could be the cause. If one of the brake callipers is bad, it can apply more pressure when braking, which can lead to unbalanced stopping.

To learn more about car repairs, contact your local auto service centre.