Brakes are one of the most important components of your car. Keeping your brakes in good condition is essential for safety. In order to do this, you should be able to tell when your brakes need servicing. Braking problems are easy for a qualified mechanic to diagnose and fix. Yet, many people don’t pay enough attention to this critical system.
Before we go any further, here is a word of caution. Checking or fixing the brakes is not something that you can do yourself. When in doubt, have a qualified mechanic check the problem. Your mechanic will identify any issues and do the necessary repairs and adjustments. A proper repair is very important for your safety as well as the safety of other people on the road.
Brakes deteriorate gradually and that makes it harder to detect problems. As the brake performance degrades, you keep getting used to it and it’s easy to overlook the fact that your car is taking longer to slow down and come to a stop. Brake components are designed to last for a long time, but they have a finite life. The life of the components and pace of deterioration depends on the frequency and intensity of use. It is, therefore, important to be alert for any signs of braking problems.
Here are four warning signs that indicate a problem with your brakes:
1. Abnormal sound:
If a squealing sound occurs whenever you apply the brakes, get your brakes checked immediately. The noise is usually caused due to worn out brake pads, which leads to direct metal to metal contact between the braking surfaces. Worn out brake pads should be immediately replaced.
2. Vibration in the steering while coming to a halt:
If your brake rotors have a problem, you will feel a strong vibration in the steering wheel as your car comes to a halt. With age, rotors become warped. This is not visible, but the shudder of the steering wheel is a giveaway. Rotors can be repaired by machining, but it’s better to get a new set of rotors.
3. Your car takes too long to stop:
If it becomes obvious that the car is taking too long to stop or you have to press harder on the pedals then it’s a bad sign. It is dangerous to continue driving in this condition and you may also get into legal trouble in case of an accident.
4. Smoking wheels:
If you notice smoke near your wheels after you stop, get the problem checked by a mechanic because it could be a problem with the braking system.
Most garages will check your brakes when you get your car serviced. However, it is important to recognize the symptoms that may indicate a brake problem. If you notice any of the problems mentioned above, get your car checked by a mechanic without delay. This is very important for your safety. Modern vehicles have complex braking mechanisms.
Don’t ignore the problem and don’t try to diagnose it yourself or tamper with the braking system. You could be putting your life, the life of your co-passengers and the safety of other road users at risk. Negligence on your part can also get you into serious legal trouble.