The brakes on your car are key for the safety of yourself and other road users. Over time they will become worn, but how quickly this happens does depend on your frequency and style of driving as well as the environment that you are driving in.
There are a few common signs to look out for that could indicate it’s time to get your brakes checked:
Strange noises can vary from a high-pitched screeching sound, to a harsh grinding sound. When you hear screeching coming from your wheels, it’s often due to your brake pads being so warn that they are causing a small indicator in your braking system to let off this noise to indicate that it’s time to change them.
In comparison, the grinding sound is more common once you have completely worn your brake pads down. You are then hearing the sound of metal on metal, which is your brake calipers grinding against the rotors. This is particularly harmful, as not only will it change how effectively your car comes to a halt, but it can also damage your rotors.
Car pulls to the side
If your car is pulling to the side it could be an indication of a few issues, such as under inflated tyres, misaligned tyres or an issue with your suspension.
However, it could also be an issue with your brakes. There are a few common brake-related issues that could be causing this:
- Unevenly worn break pads, causing different amount of pressure to be put on the wheels
- A collapsed break hose, causing calipers to move unevenly
- Worn or damaged rotors
- Stuck or contaminated caliper
If you suspect that your car could be pulling to the side because of an issue with your braking system, take your car to your local garage who will be able to advise on the work needed. For cost saving, you can order the required parts online and get them to fit them for you.
When executing an emergency stop in a car with ABS (anti-lock braking system), the brake pedal will usually pulse rapidly as the system applies the rotor. This shouldn’t be happening in normal braking circumstances, so if you notice it doing this then it is likely that are is an issue.
A vibrating pedal is usually an indication of warped rotors, but if your brakes are fairly new or aren’t put under a lot of stress then it could alternatively be a sign of misaligned wheels instead. Your local mechanic will be able to diagnose the issue for you.
Unusual reaction from brake pedal
Your pedals can often give an indication of an issue with their system before you pick up on other symptoms. Your pedal is particularly useful for this and can show signs of worn brake pads or a brake fluid leak (a spongy pedal) as well as highlighting a worn rotor or dirty brake fluid (a pedal that grabs the brakes too quickly).