The brakes on your car serve a single purpose: to stop the vehicle safely. Properly maintaining the brake system is vital to reduce the risk of a car accident. Once a year, a trained technician should check the brake pads, fluid level, condition of the lines, drums, calipers, pistons and rotors, and the functionality of the dashboard indicators.
Even if the brakes are checked annually, you need to know how to identify brake problems that could impact your car's stopping distance or reduce your ability to stop quickly in an emergency. If you experience any of the following symptoms, get the brakes looked at immediately to prevent an auto collision that results in body damage or serious injury:
The ABS or brake warning indicator lights up on the dashboard. When a light comes on, the vehicle's safety controls are telling you there's a problem with the brakes that requires attention.
The brakes make a high-pitched squealing sound that stops when you depress the pedal. Brake pads have a built-in warning tab that rubs on the rotor when they reach the wear limit and need replacement.
There's a metallic grinding noise when you apply the brakes. If you ignore the squealing sound, you'll start to hear a grinding noise that tells you the brake pads have worn through completely.
The brake pedal is difficult to press down, feels spongy, vibrates or you have to pump it repeatedly to stop. Changes in how the pedal responds to pressure can point to several potentially dangerous issues, including air in the lines, low fluid or an internal leak in the master cylinder. You may also see brake fluid leaking out on the wheels or under the hood.
The wheels are hot after you've driven a short distance, or you notice excessive dust or metal flakes on the wheels. These issues all signal brake wear that may soon cause a failure.
If missing the warning signs of failing brakes results in collision damage to your car, contact us today at Gerber Collision & Glass for expert help.