• 2023-08-17 08:00:08
  • >17

    Aug

8 Signs There Might be a Problem with Your Brakes

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Your brakes are a vital part of keeping you safe while you drive. If they start to develop a problem, it’s always best to get it rectified at the first sign, to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. This will not only reduce the risk of an accident but also typically means it will be a cheaper fix.

Below are some of the common signs that there’s an issue with your brakes, so you can get it sorted before it becomes a major problem.

The brake warning light is on

This might be an obvious one, but it’s important. If your brake warning light comes on your dashboard, you shouldn’t ignore it. It’s one of the clearest signs that there’s a problem with your brakes. It will usually be the same light that comes on when your handbrake is engaged – so if the light remains on once the handbrake is released, there could be a serious issue.

You can check your vehicle manual to see if it might be a problem that you can fix yourself. Otherwise, you should take your car to be seen by a professional as soon as possible.

The brake pedal or steering wheel vibrates

If you can feel vibrations in the pedal when you press it, and/or in your steering wheel, there could be a problem. Vibrations can be caused by an issue with the brake pads and the rotors that sit behind your wheel. If something is warped, it can grind together and cause vibrations.

You can usually get your rotors resurfaced to even out the surface, or replaced, both of which can be relatively cheap solutions.

The vehicle pulls to one side

There can be many reasons why the vehicle might feel as though it’s pulling to one side. But if it’s pulling while you’re braking, it’s a strong sign that the issue lies with the brakes.

It could be that the brakes on only one side are working properly, which causes the vehicle to pull. You should get your vehicle checked by a professional as soon as possible, as it could be very dangerous if you need to brake hard in an emergency.

There’s a grinding or screeching sound

If your brakes are making an unusual sound when you press the pedal, there could be something wrong with them. A high-pitched metallic sound might just mean that your brake pads need replacing. This can be a relatively easy fix, but you shouldn’t delay in getting them sorted. Leaving them for too long can mean the rotors underneath them get damaged, which will be more expensive to fix.

If you can hear a grinding noise when you press the brakes, this could indicate that the brake pads have completely worn down, and the rotors are getting damaged. You should get this fixed as soon as possible as it could cause damage to your entire braking system if left.

The brake pedal feels spongy or soft

If the brake pedal feels spongy when you press it, or if you can press it all the way to the floor with no resistance, you’ll need to get your brakes checked as soon as possible. This issue can be caused by moisture in the system or by a problem with the master cylinder, which can both be dangerous.

There’s a burning smell

If you can smell burning while you drive, you should get your vehicle looked at as soon as possible. It can be caused by a range of issues, including your brakes being overheated.

If you smell burning, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. Letting your brakes cool down can sometimes rectify the issue. However, if you see smoke, it could be dangerous to drive any further, and you should contact a mechanic to tow and repair your vehicle.

The car is leaking fluid

If you notice fluid under your car when it has been parked, there could be a problem with your brakes. It might be that there’s a split in the hose causing brake fluid to leak out. Brake fluid is usually clear in colour and has a subtle smell.

If there’s a problem with your brake hose system, you could find that it takes longer to stop the car than it usually would. You should get your car looked at as soon as possible if you notice fluid leaking.

It takes longer to stop than normal

There can be many things that can go wrong with your brakes, but one common sign that there’s an issue is with an increased stopping time. If you have to emergency brake, you should come to a stop almost instantly. If you’ve noticed that it takes longer to stop than usual, you should have your brakes looked at by a professional. This will get them back to working order and ensure you and others around you are kept safe.

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