Does your car feel like it's not acting properly when you brake? Are you worried that the brakes may need to be repaired? If you suspect that you have brake issues, it's always wise to have the problem checked out by a knowledgeable mechanic. Your brakes are one of the most important components of your car, and malfunctioning brakes can be a big safety issue. There are some signs to look out for that are common red flags for bad brakes. If any of the following items sound familiar, you probably need to get your brakes examined:
Squealing or grinding noises. This should be the first sign that something is up with your brakes. Your brakes have brake pads that help to relieve some of the pressure when the brake caliper presses against the rotor. These pads naturally wear down over time. Most brakes today are made with wear indicators, which emit a high-pitched squealing noise when the brake pad is worn thin. If you here this and get the issue fixed quickly, you'll only need to replace the pads, which is usually a pretty inexpensive repair.
However, if you put it off, the pads could wear down completely, at which point you'll hear the grinding of metal calipers against metal rotors. That's a much costlier repair, so always try and replace your brakes before they start grinding.
Pulling. Does your car try to jerk to one side every time you press the brakes? This is a sign that the calipers are out of alignment. One caliper may be stuck or delayed. When you press the brakes, one wheel is getting stopped with different timing from the calipers than the other brakes. This is a pretty simple repair, but one you should get checked quickly. If the problem gets worse, you may not have control of the car when you brake.
If your car pulls while driving, a stuck caliper could still be the problem. However, you also may have suspension or alignment problems.
Pulsing. Does it feel like your car pulses or vibrates when you brake? Again, this could be because of suspension and alignment issues. But it could also be because your rotors are warped. When you brake, the calipers press against the rotors as the rotors continue to spin. If a rotor is misshapen, the caliper will move across an uneven surface, causing the small vibrations. This can often happen if the brake goes through significant stress, such as what might happen if you tow a heavy item or have to slam on your brakes while on a decline. Check this out immediately because if it gets worse, the caliper may be ineffective at stopping the rotor.
For more information about auto maintenance and repair, contact Roos Only or a similar location.