Most modern cars rarely encounter issues while on the road. However, one of the most important occurrences to keep an eye out for are failing brakes.
As you might expect, brake issues could also lead to significant property damage or injury. You could also have legal action taken against you.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the signs of brake problems.
Leaking Fluid Under Your Car
If you notice that fluid is leaking under your car, this could be a sign that your master cylinder needs a replacement. This is the location within your vehicle that stores your brake fluid.
In fact, the hydraulic pressure that the cylinder creates between your brake lines is what is able to slow your car when you press your brake pedal.
Without sufficient brake fluid, you will not be able to stop your car as easily. This could easily put you or someone else in harm’s way while on the road.
Your Brake Light Is On
As you might guess, one of the most obvious signs there is a problem with your car’s brakes is the fact that your brake light is on. Many modern vehicles have safeguards in place in order to notify the driver that there is an issue with their car.
In these cases, your car will either display a light referencing the antilock braking system (ABS) or display a brake system warning light. Regardless of which one you see, it’s essential that you take care of the issue as soon as possible.
It’s also important to note that one of these lights may come on when you engage your parking brake. So, take a moment to ensure that your parking brake is not activated.
Vibration When Braking
A primary sign of rotor issues is a vibration that occurs while braking. For those who are unaware, rotors are large discs that are situated behind your wheel.
When you brake, your brake pads squeeze the rotor in order to slow your car down and eventually stop it.
If your rotors are damaged, uneven, or warped, your brake system will not function correctly. This often results in feeling vibrations in your steering wheel.
Squeaking or Grinding Noises
It should come as no surprise that hearing grinding noises while driving is an indicator of a serious issue. More often than not, this problem stems from your vehicle’s brakes.
Grinding typically occurs if you do not change your brake pads before they become worn down. At this point, it’s fairly easy to cause extensive damage to your rotors.
Squealing, on the other hand, is a sign that your brake pads are beginning to wear down. Fortunately, squealing isn’t always an indicator that damage has occurred.
If you hear consistent squealing while braking your car, it’s best to replace your brake pads in the near future.
You Smell a Burning Odor While Driving
Smelling a burning odor could have a multitude of causes. In some cases, though, it could mean that you have overheated your brakes.
If you continue to drive in this scenario, it’s possible for you to experience a total brake failure. This is particularly true if you also see smoke emanating from your wheels.
To help determine the root cause, you should immediately pull over and inspect your brakes for signs of damage. Debris, physical damage to the rotors, etc. are telltale signs that a serious issue has occurred.
Your Brake Pedal Feels “Soft”
Your brake pedal should always have a notable amount of tension when you press down on them. To clarify, new brakes are often very rigid and then slowly become worn down over time.
If you notice that your brake pedal begins to feel soft or even “bouncy,” you need to get your brakes checked out by a professional. This also applies to a situation where you are easily able to push your brake pedal all the way down to the floor.
Although wear and tear is often the cause, you may also have a problem with your master cylinder. Additionally, moisture within your brake system could also be a factor at play.
If you begin to notice that your brake pedals feel soft and you haven’t changed your brake pads or had a brake repair in years, there is likely nothing to worry about if you take the appropriate action.
Your Car Pulls to the Side While Braking
A faulty brake hose could cause your car to pull to one side when you brake. This is due to the uneven amount of pressure within your brake system.
As with many other brake problems, a car that pulls one side could inadvertently strike another vehicle or pedestrian.
In this case, only a professional is able to diagnose the exact issue and determine the best course of action.
For those who are looking to get in touch with a trustworthy brake specialist, you can visit this resource to connect with a car repair professional.
Dealing With Failing Brakes Can Be Stressful
However, recognizing the signs as soon as possible will allow you to take immediate action. From here, you can ensure that failing brakes never put you or another driver at risk in the future.
Want to learn more useful info that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.