Maintaining your vehicle’s braking system is imperative to increasing the longevity of your car. That’s why our friends at Les Schwab have put together this list of eight warning signs that may mean you need new brakes.
Brake Light On
The easiest way to know if you need new tires would be if the brake light is illuminated on your instrument panel. It could mean that your vehicle is in need of an inspection, or in dire need of new brakes.
Squealing, Squeaking, or Grinding Noises
High pitched noises when braking could be a sign that your brakes need to be replaced. This happens when the brake pad wear indicators make contact with the steel rotor. A grinding sound coming from your brakes could also be a warning sign of malfunctioning brakes.
Wobbling, Vibration, or Scraping When Braking
A shaking steering wheel or vibration when applying the brakes could be a result of a malfunctioning rotor. Another cause of wobbling when braking could be damage to your brake parts due to improper lug nut installation.
Leaking brake fluid can often be diagnosed by a soft brake pedal. Contacting a service technician can determine where the leak is coming from such as the master cylinder, power booster, or other parts surrounding the brakes.
Spongy or Soft Brake Pedal
If your brake pedal feels softer than normal, it’s a sign you need immediate service. The cause could be air in the braking system or an issue with the master cylinder
Car Pulling to One Side When Braking
Brake hose malfunctioning could cause your vehicle to pull to one side when braking. This could also be caused by one of the calipers applying more pressure than the other.
Burning Smell While Driving
An overheated brake or clutch could result in a burning chemical smell. If this happens, pull over and check to ensure your parking brake is not engaged. Neglecting this could cause your braking system to overheat.
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Bouncing Up and Down When You Stop Short
If you experience bouncing up and down when stopping, this could actually be a sign that you need new shock absorbers. Although some symptoms could be costly, other maintenance measures could just be adding brake fluid to your vehicle.