How To Tell If You Need New Brakes
Warning Signs You May Need New Brakes
Brakes are one of those things that most people forget about until it’s too late. Brake service and repair is an important part of vehicle maintenance, and having bad brakes can lead to accidents and a potential risk to your health. It can be hard to tell sometimes just when you need to replace your brakes, but there are a few telltale signs to look out for. If you do need to get your brakes repaired in the Fort Wayne area, brake repair shops like Kruse Auto Repair that can quickly and easily perform the service for you. Here are 5 ways to tell that it might be time to replace your old brakes.
Persistent Squeaking or Squealing Noises
The occasional squeaking of your breaks can be normal, for example, if you’re driving in the rain or if you try to brake especially hard. The lack of traction or extra strain can cause them to squeal as the brakes try to grip the wheel to stop the car from moving. If you’re hearing this squeaking noise consistently in all types of weather though, that’s a sign that it might be time to get your brakes checked. Squeaking brakes are most commonly caused by worn-down brake pads, where the brakes have difficulty gripping the wheel, resulting in a screeching sound as the worn pad presses firmly against the metal of the wheel. squeaking brakes can usually be fixed simply by replacing the brake pads on the brakes.
Your Brake Indicator Turns On
It’s never a good sign when the indicator lights turn on, especially the brake lights. Some cars have a sensor that notifies you when the brake pads are worn down. The brake light turning on doesn’t always mean it simply an issue with your brake pads though. The brake light turning on can be caused by a variety of things, including worn or frayed brake wires. If your brake lights turn on, you should definitely have your car checked out before taking out for a drive. If its a serious problem with your breaks, your car could effectively just not stop while you’re on the road. If your brake light turns on, take it in to be seen by a professional for brake repair immediately.
You Hear a Heavy Grinding Sound
Many brake pads have metal ridged at the base of the brake pad. These ridges are designed to make a loud grinding sound whenever you hit your brakes. Don’t worry, your car isn’t about to fall apart or have severe damage done to it from hitting your brakes. These ridges are basically meant to notify you that you’ll need to replace your brake pads as your current pads are completely shot.
Vibrating Brake Pedal
If you feel your brake pedal jerk and vibrate as you try to stop your car, that is a strong sign that your brake pads long past the point of needing changing. You’ll also notice the car is much more difficult to stop, as the car will continue to slide forward or just not stop properly even when applying heavy brake pressure. This is extremely dangerous as it could easily lead to an accident, especially at high speeds on parkways or highways. If you run into issues with a vibrating brake pedal, take it in for brake service as soon as you can.
Brake Pads Appear Less Than 1/4-inch Thick
The last way you can check to see if your car needs brake repair is by physically looking at the brake pads themselves. If your brake pads look to be less than 1/4 inch thick, it’s a sign that your brake pads are on their last legs and need to be replaced. You don’t need to take apart the wheel to get a good look at the brake pad. Simply kneel down by the wheel with a flashlight and take a peek between the spokes of the wheels. You should be able to see the brake pad resting on the rotor of the tire. Healthy brake pads are usually 10-12 millimeters thick, or about 3/4 inch thick. If your brake pads look like they’re worn down to below 1/4 inch in thickness, it’s time to take them in to be replaced.
Making Your Brake Pads Last
There are a few ways you can help increase the lifespan of your brake pads. One of the best ways to help prolong your brake pad life is to have your tires rotated regularly. Rotating your tires every 6 months can help keep the same area of the tire from getting worn down. Between rotating your tires and keeping track of your brake pads will help keep your brakes in good shape. If you do need to have your brakes repaired in the Fort Wayne Area, auto shops like Kruse Auto Repair can make sure your brakes are well maintained.