It’s important to listen to your brakes. They are an important safety feature in every vehicle that can help keep you and other drivers on the road safe. But how can you listen, if you don’t know your brakes language and what they are trying to tell you. We’ve decided to help you with that. We’ve decoded the five most common symptoms your brakes use to help you know when it’s time to change your brakes or see a professional.
Squealing and screeching are your brakes only way to let you know when they are running out of pad. In fact, most manufacturers build in a safety mechanism that makes brakes squeal before they are completely worn out. It’s meant to give you a warning that it’s time to schedule an appointment with your mechanic or pull out the jack and try a DIY brake edition.
Grinding and Growling comes in when your brakes are completely worn out. It’s the sound of metal on metal and means that you no longer have viable brakes. Not only will it take you longer to brake, but you are doing damage to your rotor. After enough time, you can even warp your rotor, making your brake repair even more expensive.
When we say vibrating, there are two ways your car can vibrate to let you know your brakes are trying to leave you hanging. The first is simple. If you are trying to brake and your brake pedal is vibrating or shaking, then your brakes are going bad. The more extreme way is if your entire car shakes. If your entire car is shaking when you attempt to brake, there is a larger issue. This could be a symptom from waiting too long to replace your brakes or a sign of something worse. If your entire car is shaking when you try to brake or hit a certain speed, be sure to take it into your mechanic immediately. It will be cheaper & safer than the alternative.
Just like vibrating, a sinking pedal is a symptom of a larger brake issue. If your pedal is sinking all the way to the ground, it’s a sign that you are low on brake fluid. Brake fluid does not typically evaporate. If you are suddenly low, then you probably have a leak. Brake fluid is one of the most important part of your braking system. It is what creates the pressure so that you can actually brake. Driving on the road with a leaky braking system is extremely dangerous to you and others. If your pedal is sinking, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your mechanic.
Most cars come with one or two dashboard notifications that revolve around your braking system. One is the ABS light and the other is the Brake System light. These lights can tell you different things about your brake system to give you an idea of the problem and to point your mechanic to the right way. Your ABS light is connected to your “Anti-lock Brake Computer” and stands for Anti-brake system. It can light up in a few instances depending on your car’s make, model, and safety features. In some cases, it will light up when you slam on the brake. It’s indicating that your ABS has kicked in. If this is the case, it will typically turn back off when the crisis resolves and your driving normally. The other time is when your computer has set a code. If this is the case, it needs to be seen by a professional to determine the problem and reset the computer.
The Brake System Light alerts you when there is another issue with your braking system. It is triggered when your parking brake is on, when your brake fluid is low, and sometimes when your ABS system has a problem. While your parking brake is an easily solved problem, the others indicate that a professional needs to look at your braking system soon.
It’s important to know what your car’s symptoms mean. Keep an eye out for these top 5 warning signs that your brakes are trying to fail you! If you have any of these signs, be sure to get your braking system checked out by a professional as soon as possible to keep your costs low and your family safe.
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