You don't have to be a mechanic to know that something is wrong with your car. In fact, being able to detect the symptoms of a brake problem is an important skill to learn so you can ensure your car remains safe to drive. By being able to catch the warning signs of a brake issue early, you can also save your car from further damage by getting it fixed promptly. Some problems occur because of normal wear and tear, while others can be a result of a collision.
Sign #1: Brake light
All modern cars have at least one brake indicator light on the dash, but the meaning of the light can vary across makes and models. It can indicate that the brake pads have worn down to the point of requiring replacement, that there is an issue with the braking system, or that it is simply time to have your brake's inspected. You can verify the meaning by checking your car's owner's manual, but regardless of the meaning, it is a good idea to have the brakes checked. Even a routine inspection is vital to ensure everything is in good working order.
Sign #2: Squishy pedal
One of the most obvious signs of brake issues, beyond the light, is a squishy brake pedal. If you must start pushing the pedal in further or harder to stop the car, it is time to have your brakes repaired. This is especially true if the car fails to brake or seems to hesitate when braking, as this can indicate that brake failure is imminent.
Sign #3: Squealing or grinding
When the brake pads wear down, you end up with the metal bracket pressing into your rotor. This results in a loud squeal or a grinding noise each time you depress the brake pedal. This can also happen after a collision, especially if the pad brackets or rotor was warped in the accident.Your car may still stop, but the metal-on-metal is going to eventually carve deep grooves into the rotor, which will ruin it so that it requires premature replacement. As soon as you hear any noise that only occurs when you push on the brake pedal, it's time to have the brakes checked.
Sign #4: Shaky wheel
Sometimes a damaged rotor from a collision or uneven wear on the brake pads can affect the control of your vehicle. When you brake, the wheel may shake, vibrate, or even pull to one side. This can be a major safety concern, particularly when you are trying to control your steering while simultaneously slamming on the brakes. Having the problem rotor fixed or the pads replaced generally fixes the issue.
If you suspect a brake problem, take your car into an auto repair shop as soon as possible. Check out a website like http://www.autobodyomaha.com for more information and assistance.