Brake Service – Of all the parts on your vehicle, the brakes easily rank among the most important. Whether you’re approaching a red light in Raleigh or encounter a deer crossing the road, you must be able to stop quickly. Here are six obvious signs you need brake service.
Most modern braking systems are designed with wear indicators. When your brake pads begin to get low, the wear indicator will produce a loud squealing sound. After you begin to hear this hitch-pitched noise, you should seek brake service within the next 50 miles.
If you fail to have the brake pads replaced in a timely manner, this becomes a serious safety hazard. Your vehicle will take much longer to come to a stop. When the friction material on your brake pads becomes too low, metal-on-metal contact will occur. This means your brake rotors can be damaged.
Brake Light On
When your gauge cluster’s brake light turns on, don’t wait to bring in your vehicle for brake service. In many instances, the root of the problem is a low level of brake fluid. Keep in mind that adding more brake fluid to the reservoir is only a temporary fix. There’s likely a leak somewhere in the system.
This isn’t a problem that you should take lightly. Immediate repair is needed. If all the brake fluid leaks out, your vehicle may not have the ability to stop. The chances of you crashing increase dramatically.
Vibration Felt When Braking
If you feel a vibration when braking, your brake rotors have probably warped. These large metal discs are located behind the brake calipers. Although brake rotors can be resurfaced, most brake service experts recommend purchasing new rotors. The extra peace of mind is well worth it.
It’s not safe to drive with worn brake rotors. This problem can increase your vehicle’s stopping distance by several feet. The overall drivability of your vehicle will be compromised as well. Even worse, severely worn rotors can crack.
A burning smell should quickly catch your attention. Aside from the charred smell, you may also notice smoke coming from the wheel area. There’s a good chance that one of your car’s brake calipers has started to seize up. Oftentimes, vehicles that sit parked for a long time will encounter this issue. Rust buildup is another potential culprit.
Regardless of the reason why the caliper seized up, you need to seek brake service immediately. This issue can lead to a noticeable reduction in performance and fuel economy. A stuck caliper also places extra stress on the transmission, which could lead to premature failure.
Soft Brake Pedal
A soft brake pedal is certainly not a good sign. Immediate brake service is necessary. This is especially true if the pedal sinks all the way to the floor. Air may have gotten into the brake line. To solve this problem, brake service technicians will need to bleed the brake lines. A worn master cylinder can also lead to a soft brake pedal.
Driving a car with a soft brake pedal is a big risk. You could completely lose pressure at any given time. When approaching an obstacle, it’ll be difficult to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Stuck Parking Brake
A stuck parking brake is among the most frustrating car problems. It can happen as a result of dirt and water causing the cable to corrode. Cold weather can also cause trouble.
In some instances, you may ultimately have to call for a tow. However, rocking the car back and forth may temporarily free the parking braking brake. Professional brake service will be needed to keep the issue from happening again.