"When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once a year” , said Rich White, executive director of Car Care Council.
During the month of August, which has been nominated for the Brake Safety Awareness month, we should all halt and get our brakes checked, if we haven’t done so till now.
A vehicle braking system relies on a combination of hydraulic fluid and mechanical parts that work together to stop forward or backward motion. Brakes are found on all four wheels of today’s cars and trucks. Every time the brakes are applied the system is put under a great deal of pressure. Riding the brakes (keeping the foot lightly on the brake pedal at all times while driving) wears down the brake pads and damages the rotors. Riding the brakes also causes damage to the vehicle’s transmission. Frequent, sudden panic stops not only result in excessive wear on the pads and possible warping of the rotors, but can also result in glazed brake pads which have no ability to “grab” the rotors.
Listed below are few signs that your brakes need servicing:
Warning light: The brake warning light on the dashboard comes on when the brakes are in danger of imminent failure. The vehicle is unsafe to drive at this time.
Mushy brakes: they usually mean that there is a leak in the hydraulic system and the brake fluid cannot build up enough pressure to brake without pumping the brake pedal. Air has likely gotten into the hydraulic system and will need to be bled out.
Longer pedal travel: If the owner needs to press the pedal farther and farther to get the brakes to work, the brake pads probably need replacement.
High pitched squealing: A screeching sound when the brakes are applied signals that the brake pads are totally deteriorated and the metal from the brake caliper piston is grinding directly onto the disc.
Vibration: A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors (but can also indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes.
Pulling: If your vehicle “pulls” to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.
Reduced responsiveness or fading: If your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal “sinks” toward the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak. One telltale sign of a brake fluid leak is the presence of a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil, but with a less “slimy” texture.
Signs of Brake wear
- High pitched squealing
- Vibration in the steering wheel when stopping
- Grinding noises when stopping
- Increased braking distance
- Longer pedal travel
- Feeling the vehicle “pull” to the left or right when stopping
- A weak emergency brake
- Bad smell after coming to a hard stop
- Pedal “fade”
- NOT STOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you are, unfortunately, experiencing any of the signs aforementioned, take initiative and stop by TL MOTORS and have one of our master technician inspect your vehicle’s brakes.
The inspection of the brakes include:
- Pads parking brake cables fluid condition
- Calipers hardware ( springs and adjusters)
- Rotors wheel bearings and grease seals
- Wheel cylinder master cylinder fluid exchange
Make it a priority and have your brakes inspected at least once a year and DRIVE SAFE!!!!!
TIPS: WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR VEHICLE IN FOR BRAKE INSPECTION AND YOU ARE NOTIFIED THAT YOU NEED A BRAKE JOB, ASK YOUR MECHANIC THESE TWO QUESTIONS:
- HOW MUCH PAD IS LEFT? (MINIMUM THICKNESS IS 2mm FOR BRAKE PADS)
- CAN IT WAIT TILL NEXT SERVICE?