According to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, only 2% of all car accidents are caused by brake failure. That number may seem low, but you surely wouldn’t want to be included in that percentage. So, always make sure that your brakes are working properly before going for a drive.
But how would you know if your car is in need of brake services alabama? To help you, here are some warning signs you should watch out for:
• Squeaking, Squealing, or Grinding Noise
High-pitched squeaking, squealing, or grinding noise when applying brakes is an indicator that your brake pads are probably already worn out. You have to replace them immediately, as they can damage your car’s rotor, which can be expensive to fix.
In addition, the grinding sounds could mean that there’s some gravel or rock caught in the caliper unit. If your vehicle has rear drum brakes, the noise can also be an indicator of lack of lubrication.
• Burning Smell
If you notice any burning smell while you’re driving, then your brakes or clutch may be overheating. You should pull over immediately and let the brakes cool down. In case you see any smoke coming from the wheel, it may be a sign that the brake caliper is stuck.
• Soft Brake Pedal
Have you noticed any difference in the resistance in the brake pedal? When you step on it, does it feel “softer,” or does it sink all the way down to the floor mat? If your answers to these questions are yes, then you need immediate service. This could mean there’s air or moisture in the braking system, or there may be a problem with the master cylinder.
• Vibration in the Steering Wheel
If you feel any vibration or shakes in the steering wheel when you engage your brakes, this may mean that the surface of your rotors is uneven. One part of your disk brake may be thinner than the other. This can lower the effectiveness of the brakes.
• The Brake Light Is On
Your car actually tells you when you’re due for an inspection or service by lighting up the brake indicators on your dashboard. If you see that the red or yellow indicators are illuminated, then you should schedule an appointment with your mechanic right away.
• Car Pulling to One Side
Have you ever felt like some force is pulling your vehicle to one side while you’re braking? If yes, then it’s possible that the brake linings are wearing unevenly. It can also mean that there’s some foreign matter in the brake fluid. You’ll have to contact your mechanic for lining adjustment or fluid drain and replacement.
A car pulling to one side when braking may also be caused by a brake caliper problem. It may be applying more pressure when you’re braking. As a result, you’re experiencing an unbalanced stopping.
• Visible Wear and Tear on the Brake Pads
Before going for a drive, inspect your brake pads first. They’re located at the wheel’s spokes, pressed up against a metal rotor. If you see that the pads are 3mm or less in thickness, you need to replace them right away. Worn-out brake pads can decrease your car’s ability to brake. They can also increase damage to other parts of the brake system.
• Sensitive or Insensitive Brakes
If your car stops right away at the gentlest touch on the brake pedal, it could mean that your rotors have worn down unevenly. It may also mean that you simply need a brake fluid exchange.
On the contrary, if you need to push the pedal nearly to the floor just to get your brakes engaged, it could mean that you’re low on brake fluid or the pads are too thin. It may also mean that there is a problem with the hydraulic system.
Have Your Car Get Serviced Today!
If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, bring your car to an auto repair shop that offers brake services in Alabama right away. By doing so, you can have peace of mind knowing that your brakes won’t fail you while you’re driving. In case you want to learn other indicators of brake problems, feel free to ask your trusted mechanics.