5 Signs That Your Brakes Need to be Checked
Over time, the rotor and the pads on the caliper begin to wear thin making them less effective at slowing and stopping your car.
1. BRAKE PEDAL: If you have a “mushy” brake pedal; one that goes almost to the floor before engaging the brakes could indicate worn pads or a problem with the hydraulic system that provides brake fluid to the mechanisms. This could also be due to air in the brake line, a hole in a hose or dirty brake fluid. The same goes for a “touch” brake pedal; one that grabs at the slightest touch. This could indicate an unevenly worn rotor, dirty brake fluid or contamination of the fluid by moisture.
2. VIBRATIONS: If you notice your brake pedal pulsing slightly or a vibration in the car when you are braking, it could be that you have warped rotors. Rotors can warp under extreme stress for long periods of time. Riding your brakes constantly or frequent stopping while towing something heavy, could be a source of this. It could also be a wheel that is out of balance or an improper alignment.
3. PULLING: If your car pulls one way or another while braking, it could indicate a problem with the braking system. It could be a stuck caliper, a collapsed brake hose or uneven brake pads. Pulling does not always indicate a problem with brakes, as it could be out of alignment or an under or over-inflated tire.
4. STRANGE SOUNDS: A high-pitched squeal could be emitted as one sign that your brake pads need replacing. This sound is usually loud enough to be heard even with the windows up but may not always be known as to what it actually means. Another sound would be a harsh grinding sound. That means that you have gone completely through your break pads and one of your metal calipers is rubbing against your metal rotor. This will be ineffective at stopping your vehicle and also damage rotors and be more costly to fix.
5. BRAKE PADS: Checking the thickness of your brake pads is a straightforward procedure but not always the answer. It may require removing the wheel from the car or even more to be able to see the pads on the caliper. If you see deep grooves or pits in your rotor, this could also be a sign of worn pads or something stuck between the pad and the rotor.