Posted on: 8 July 2018
Your brakes are the most important safety feature of your vehicle, as they are what actually allows you to moderate your speed on the road. Improperly functioning brakes are thus a huge safety concern, as they greatly increase the risk of a collision occurring - and thus bodily harm by extension as well. Fortunately, brakes will rarely fail completely overnight. There are a handful of early warning signs that you can keep watch for to determine when you should make an appointment with your local mechanic to have your car's brakes inspected and repaired.
The first warning sign of brakes that have begun to wear themselves out is a strange sound coming from your tires when you apply the brakes. Most commonly, this will take the sound of a high-pitched, metal-on-metal squeal that points to your brake pads being worn out, causing the calipers and the rotors to rub together. This can cause structural damage to your brakes if left unchecked for a long enough period of time.
Another clear sign that your brake pads may have worn out, and your brake calipers and rotors are rubbing together when you apply the brakes, are vibrations and shaking that come up through the steering wheel and brake pedal. Depending on the severity of the issue, the shaking can range from the minute and almost unnoticeable to the severe, where your entire cabin seems to be vibrating.
Another common issue with your vehicle's brakes is when air gets into the brake lines, either due to improper installation, age, or a brake fluid leak developing. When this happens, your brake pedal may grow to be soft and squishy, reducing the responsiveness of your brakes while driving - especially at higher speeds. This problem can grow worse over time as more brake fluid leaks out of the lines, reducing how effective your brakes are, so you should get it addressed as soon as you notice it.
Finally, if one of your brake pads is wearing away at a faster rate than the other, you may find that your vehicle suddenly veers to one side when you hit the brakes. This can be a serious safety concern, especially if you are not expecting the sudden change in direction, and can make a collision very likely. Usually, replacing both brake pads is more than enough, but you should also get your mechanic to inspect your tires and suspension to see if there is an underlying issue that led to one brake pad wearing down faster than the other.Share