First Community Financial Group, Inc. Blog
When your car brakes, then you are initializing a complex system of mechanical components that will work together to bring your vehicle to a stop. The average car weighs about 3 to 5 tons, and the fact that your brakes help stop this heavy machine within a few meters, countless times per year, is a testament to their reliability. You need your brakes to always be there for you at a moment’s notice.
However, everything mechanical will have problems from time to time. Periodically, you will need to have your brakes serviced, repaired or replaced. Consider six of the warning signs that will usually indicate that it’s time for a brake check:
You Hear a High-Pitched Squeal
Brake pads contain a metal component known as an indicator. Over time, the pads will wear down and expose the indicator. At this time, the exposed indicator will rub against your rotator, causing a loud, high-pitched and unmistakable squealing sound. This is a clear indicator that you need to change your brake pads.
The Brake Warning Light Turns On
Your brake warning light is designed to turn on when problems within the braking system are detected. Sometimes, the light will come on and turn off sporadically, which can make drivers feel tempted to ignore the signal. However, even one light-up of the brake light is an indicator that you need to make an appointment with the mechanic.
The Brake Pedal Goes to the Floor
Sometimes, you might be depressing your brake pedal only to feel the pressure give way and the pedal goes to the floor. This could mean that you have a bad master cylinder. You need the master cylinder to work appropriately to have appropriate brake pressure.
Your Brakes Pulsate
Brake rotors sometimes become warped or corroded, which can lead to you feeling a pulsating vibration when you try to stop the car. You might need to replace the brake rotors or to have them turned. Turning involves smoothing the rotor by shaving metal off.
Your Brake Fluid Looks Milky
At times, condensation in the line can make your brake fluid have a milky color. At this time, you should change the fluid because letting it stagnate could do damage to the master cylinder and wheel cylinders. Your owner’s manual will include directions to help you locate the fluid container under your hood.
Your Brake Lines Are Rusty
Rusted brake lines can become disjointed and cause fluid to spill. Brake lines have a very thin protective coating that will wear out over time, and which can expose the metal under the coating to rust. A small amount of rust is okay, but heavy flaking or bubbling rust is not.
Avoid costly repairs and possible brake failure by recognizing the signs of problem brakes. If your brakes feel weak and require more stopping distance than usual, get them checked.