5 Tell-Tale Signs That It’s Time for a Brake Inspection
What are the must-have features for your car? For many people these days, heated seats, fine leather interior, and blind spot monitoring make the cut. For most of us, a reliable air conditioner, power steering, and some form of smartphone compatibility are absolutely essential.
But what do all drivers actually need to get on the road? The obvious place to start is the engine, but the second most vital piece of a car is the braking system. There is not much use to a car that can go from zero to sixty in three seconds unless it can eventually stop.
Unfortunately, while many car owners think about their vehicle’s engine, they don’t always remember to take proper care of their brakes. If you’re curious as to what to look out for, here are 5 tell-tale signs that it’s time for a brake inspection.
- Listen Up
“Brakes, can you hear me? It’s me, the driver.”
Okay, that’s not quite how the quote goes, but the sentiment may ring true for many drivers who have experienced a decline in their braking system’s responsiveness. If the brakes don’t respond quite as quickly or you pedal begins to “sink” into the floor from time to time, that’s a good sign to take your car in to see a professional.
- Neither Straight Nor Narrow
Scenario: you are behind the wheel of your car and you gently stop at a stop light. Instead of leaving you in the direction you were driving, you car instead “pulls” to one side. Although this behavior can be symptomatic of a variety of issues, one of the most common is that the linings of your brakes are wearing unevenly or possibly that there is foreign matter hiding in your brake fluid. You may simply need to take your car in to the mechanic for a brake adjustment or possibly to have the fluid drained and replaced.
- Grinding, Growling, and Popping, Oh My
Outside of a particularly well-performed guitar solo on Jack White’s new single, no unexpected sound from your car is a good sound. In fact, we have an entire blog dedicated to all of the strange noises that your vehicle may produce. Grinding is definitely a bad sign for your brakes, but squealing and grinding metal, especially when slowing down, point directly to worn down brake pads.
- Not So Good Vibrations
The rumbling feeling of an engine starting is a beautiful thing for most car enthusiasts. However, when you begin to feel your car vibrating upon hitting the brakes, you probably have a warped rotor. Whenever you stop your car, your rotor is the part of your vehicle that the brakes press against to bring you to a halt. Overtime, they eventually wear out. The vibrating means that the surface of your rotors in uneven, indicating that they must be replaced.
- Wear Me Out
Most cars on the road these days use a braking system that uses semi-metallic pads to slow the vehicle down. Eventually, these brake pads will wear down due to the friction between the rotor and the pad itself. The good news is that you don’t need a professional to check your brake pads for you because it’s fairly easy to do yourself. If you find that they are beginning to wear down, then it’s time to bring your car to the mechanic.
No matter what new feature is next on your car wish list, always remember to take care of the most vital parts of your vehicle. Is your car ready for a brake inspection?