I think every one that is a driver of a car out there would agree that having brakes that work well on your vehicle is one of the most important parts of your car. Air-conditioning, power locks and windows and key-less entry are all things that are nice to have, but in the end, they don’t determine whether you can actually safely stop your car when you need to. It is important to make sure that your brakes are not too worn to drive on and there are several indicators that can help you know when to take it into the service center to have your brakes checked out by a professional.
Let’s start off with the worst case scenario: It’s pretty easy to tell when your brakes have failed because when you go to stop, well, you can’t! Under no circumstances do you want to get to this point, so knowing the warning signs can help you figure it out before you are in dire straits. Using your basic senses of hearing, seeing and feeling should help decide when your brakes are in need of an overhaul.
One tell-tale sign of brakes being worn out is when you hear squeaking or grinding sound when you press on your brakes. This is one of the first indicators that your brake pads are worn and is caused by the brake pads making contact with the rotors. Another sign that you need to take your vehicle to the shop for your brakes to be looked at is smelling a slight burning odor in the air when you press on your brakes. This smell doesn’t always mean that your brake pads need to be replaced, but is almost always an indicator that they have gotten too hot in temperature.
Often times when you have brake problems, you notice it when you press down on the brakes themselves. If you want to test it out, try comparing the feel of the brake pedal when pressed during driving (and braking) and when the car is parked. The action should feel similar in both situations and not at all “squishy” when you are braking while driving. Something else that you might be able to feel is the shuddering or vibration in the steering wheel while braking, as this too is an indication of brake trouble.
Last but not least, use your eyes to actually see if your brake system light comes on or if there is any rusting or flaking in the brakes or rotors. The latter requires taking off the tire and doing a little digging around under the hood, but if you have a suspicion that there is a problem, it is the fastest way to see for yourself and decide the best course of action forward.
This guest post was written by Freedom Rims, a Responsible Military Lender since 1983. Freedom Rims offers rims financing for a variety of performance rims and tires in San Antonio, TX. We offer fast and convenient credit on a large inventory of tires and wheels with our military financing options.