20 Apr Warning Signs You Need New Brakes
How to Tell if You Need New Brakes
Look and Listen
If looking isn’t working, then trust your ears. Have you heard a high-pitched screeching sound when you apply your brakes? If so, you’re hearing a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. You should be aware of this sound (it’s loud enough to hear while the windows are up but not necessarily loud enough to be heard over the radio and or air conditioner). If you hear it regularly, quickly make an appointment with your mechanic.
Other Signs of Brake Problems
If you’ve experienced any of these, you should visit a reliable repair shop as soon as possible.
Reduced Responsiveness or Fading:
If your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal “sinks” toward the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak. One telltale sign of a brake fluid leak is the presence of a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil, but with a less “slimy” texture.
If your vehicle “pulls” to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.
Grinding or Growling:
This loud metallic sound means that you have worn down the pads completely, most likely beyond replacement. The grinding or growling noise is caused by the two pieces of metal (the disc and the caliper) rubbing together. This can “score,” or scratch your rotors, creating an uneven surface. If this happens, do not be surprised if your mechanic tells you that the rotors need to be “turned” (a process that evens out the rotor surface), or even replaced.