Brakes play a vital role in keeping your car under control; they allow you to slow down and stop as well as avoid obstacles. If your brakes aren’t working properly, you’re putting yourself, your passengers, and other road users at risk.
If you have a problem with the braking system on your vehicle, it’s important to determine if the issue is critical – meaning that you need to fix it now – or if repairs can wait. Taking the time to examine your brakes and identify any signs that they are damaged will help you make the right decision.
Here are some signs that your car’s brakes might need to be replaced:
- A substantial drop in performance
If you notice that the car is braking later or with less force than usual, it might be time to change your brakes. This is usually the first sign that most people notice when their brakes are failing.
- A build-up of fluid on the brake pedal
An increased amount of fluid on the brake pedal is often a sign that there’s a problem with your brakes. This can be caused by air in the line, which puts extra pressure on the fluid and causes it to squirt out. If ignored, the car might be harder to stop when you use your brakes.
- A spongy feeling when braking
The way a car’s brakes operate is by converting the kinetic energy of movement into heat, so when you apply your brake pedal, pressure builds up behind each wheel. At this point, if your brakes have an issue with them, the force applied to the pedal will be lower than normal and can even feel spongy.
- A grinding or squealing noise
It’s normal to experience some noise as you apply the brake, but grinding or squealing noises are not. The grinding noises are often caused by a buildup of material on the brake discs or pads. This is usually due to the braking system not working properly, so it’s important to have your industrial brakes checked as soon as possible. On the other hand, a high-pitched screech could be caused by your brake pads being worn down.
- Rusted brake calipers
You should check your pads for signs of rust. If you notice that one of your calipers has rusted, it’s probably best to have them replaced with new ones as soon as possible. This could be a sign that there is corrosion in the brake fluid, which could eventually cause an air bubble to stop the brakes from working.
- A warped brake disc or drum
Warped discs and drums will lead to reduced stopping power, so it’s important that they get repaired or replaced. There are a number of reasons why your vehicle might have warped discs and drums, including:
- Lack of oil lubricant applied to the discs and drums, which can cause them to overheat
the brake pads on one wheel moving out of position
- Buildup of rust on the braking surfaces.
If you notice any of these signs, it means your car’s brakes may need replacing. Have them looked at by an expert as soon as possible.