Making sure your brakes are in good condition is an essential part of making sure your car is safe for you and your family. We all know that brakes do wear out over time, typically brake pads should be replaced about every 50,000 miles. However, your driving habits, frequent driving routes (highway versus city traffic), weather conditions, and more can affect the lifespan of your brakes.
Waiting too long to get your brake pads changed out can lead to expensive repairs and is also dangerous to you, your passengers, and other vehicles on the road.To help you recognize when its time to bring your car in for repairs, our Raleigh mechanic is sharing the five signs it's time to replace your brakes.
Persistent Squeaking is a Sign of Brake Replacement
If you press your car's brakes and you hear a squeak, it may be nothing. Wet road conditions can often cause your brakes to squeak or squeal for a moment. However, if you continue to hear the noise, even when it's dry outside or when using the smallest pressure on your brakes, you'll want to schedule an appointment with an experienced professional. That squeak occurs when your brake pads get too worn due to the presence of a small, metal shim. Once it's exposed, it creates a high-pitched squeal, alerting you that it's time to replace the pads.
Your Brake Indicator Light Is On
Not all vehicles have a sensor built into the brake that comes on when your brake pad has worn to a certain amount. However, if your car does have that sensor and your brake light comes on, you definitely don't want to wait to have your car looked at. The indicator light may simply be a sign that you're due to get your car inspected, but it can also be a sign that the brake pad is quite thin and in need of replacement.
However, if you do see your brake indicator is on, check to make sure your emergency brake or parking brake is not engaged before you worry.
Grinding Sound When You Apply Your Brakes
If you hear a rumbling or a grinding sound, you should take your car in to a professional as soon as possible. While in some cases, it may just be a rock stuck in the caliper which is an easy fix, it's often a sign that your brakes are severely worn down.
If you go too long without having your brakes replaced, your brake pads can wear all the way down. The only thing stopping your vehicle when you apply your brakes is the steel caliper digging into the rotors. If this happens for too long, the rotors will need to be replaced along with the brake pads, which can be significantly more expensive.
For vehicles with rear drum brakes, the grinding sound may be a sign that there isn't an lubrication, and the brake shoe is grinding onto the metal contact points.
Minimal Resistance When You Apply Your Brakes
When you press the brakes, if it takes you a longer time to stop or you feel your foot almost touching the floor, you need to take your car in for service immediately. A "spongy" brake means that there may be an issue with the master cylinder or there could be a leak in your car's brake system - either an air leak in the brake hose or a fluid leak. Similarly, if you notice a fluid leak under your car that's not oil, it may be leaking brake fluid, and you'll want to get it fixed quickly.
Your Car Pulls, Vibrates, or Shudders When Braking
If your car feels hard to control, especially when you're braking, or you experience a shuddering or vibration in the pedal or steering wheel, the most likely issues are worn brake pads, uneven wear to the brake pads, or an uneven rotor. Anything that causes your vehicle to become difficult to control or steer should be looked at immediately.
Contact Us for Reliable Brake Replacement on Your Vehicle
If you are experiencing any of the following signs we have outlined and described, it's important to get your brakes checked as soon as possible to avoid serious damage to your vehicle and to prevent an accident. Schedule your appointment with Reliable Import Service, and we'll get your vehicle running and stopping smoothly in no time. Our experienced professionals offer the highest quality maintenance and repair services for luxury and import vehicles in Raleigh, so you can feel confident that your car, truck, or SUV is in good hands. Call us today at 919-324-3019 or schedule an appointment online!