Keeping your brakes in good condition is absolutely essential to your safety, as well as the other cars on the road around you. Luckily, brakes rarely fail out of the blue without any warning. As an automobile owner, it is your responsibility to know the signs of a brake problem so you can have the issue fixed promptly. Some common signs that your car's brakes are in need of repair include:
Screeching or Whining When Braking
Brake pads wear out with use and need to be replaced on a regular basis. They are designed to emit a loud screeching or whining sound when they become thin in order to alert the driver that it is time to head to a brake shop for a brake service. Don't ignore these sounds, as continuing to drive with bad brake pads can eventually cause your rotors to become warped, which can result in a big repair bill since warped rotors will need to be replaced.
When a car's brake system is in good repair, the car should come to a stop smoothly. If you begin feeling your car vibrate while you're braking, it is often a sign that your rotors are warped. While driving with bad brake pads is one way to warp the rotors, it can also occur after too much hard braking, or braking while driving down a steep hill or towing another vehicle. Vibration during braking is a big warning flag of serious problems with the brake system, so have it checked out as soon as you can.
Pulling in One Direction
Many people assume that if a vehicle is pulling to one side it is an alignment issue, but if the pulling happens while coming to a stop it is often an issue with the brake system. Pulling can occur because the brake linings have worn out unevenly, or because the brake fluid is extremely dirty or has foreign particles floating in it.
Brake Pedal is Not As Responsive as it Used to Be
You should never have to slam your brake pedal to bring your vehicle to a normal stop, so if you find that you have to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor just to slow down you should be concerned. Brake pedals often lose responsiveness when there is an air leak in the brake hose, or brake fluid is leaking from the car. Contact a business that offers brake repair for more information.