Your car's brakes are the number one safety feature of your car. If your brakes fail, you not only put your own life at risk, but those of everyone on the road. But how do you know when to take your car in for an auto brake repair? Here are six warning signs you need to look for:
When your brake pads begin wearing down, often the first warning sign is a slight vibration when you push on the pedal. You might not even notice the vibration at first or you might chalk it up to rough roads. But the more the pads wear, the worse the vibration gets. Take your car in for an auto brake repair in your area as soon as you notice this sign.
Sometimes you may get a visual indicator that your brake pads are going bad. Check your tire rims for black dust. This black dust is made up of particles from your brake pads due to excess grinding. Also note that a lack of dust doesn't mean you don't have brake trouble.
3. Taking longer to brake
If you notice you need to stomp on your brakes more frequently, don't blame distractions on the road. Increased braking distance could be due to your brakes going bad. You may also notice that you have to press on the pedal harder to stop.
Many modern cars have brake indicators. The indicator rubs against the rotor when your brake pad has worn down. The indicator then grinds against the rotor to create a squeal. The squeal is loud enough you can hear it with your windows rolled up. When you hear this squeal, take your car in for a service immediately. Also, if your car has been outside overnight when it's raining, you may hear a slight squeal while braking. This is normal and doesn't mean your brake pads are worn.
If your vehicle pulls to one side when you apply the brake, you may need to get your brakes replaced. Pulling to one side generally indicates that the pad on one side of the car has excessive wear compared to the other pads. This pulling will only happen when you press on the brake pedal. If you notice pulling at any other time, you may only need an alignment.
6. Look at your brake pads
If you're concerned about your brakes, the best step you can take is a visual inspection. You can usually see your brake pad through your tire. If you can see your pad, measure it's thickness. If it's at least a quarter of an inch thick, your pads are still in good shape. If it's less than that, you will need to make an appointment for an auto brake repair service in your area.
These are six warning signs that you need new brakes. If you notice any of these, bring your car in for repair as soon as possible.