Three Signs Your Vehicle May Need Its Brakes Serviced
Have you ever thought about how often you use the brakes in your car? Just during your daily commute to work, you probably have to press the brake pedal dozens of times in order to stop the thousands of pounds of metal, plastic, and fluids that make up your automobile. So it’s not a big surprise that your brakes could fatigue over time and may eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Taking care of your brakes will not only aid your vehicle’s performance, but it could also help it maintain its value, putting more money back in your pocket. Here are three warning signs that your brakes may need to be serviced:
- Grinding or screeching: If you feel a grinding sensation or hear a screeching sound when you apply the brakes, this could be due to worn brake pads. Most brake pads include a piece of metal called the indicator. When pads are worn down to ¼ inch, the indicator rubs against the metal rotors, thus causing the vibration and screeching. A mechanic can help you determine if your pads and rotors need to be replaced, or if your rotors simply need to be “turned.”
- Pulling: If your vehicle pulls to one side or the other while braking, this could mean that your brakes are not wearing evenly or there could be a strange substance in the brake fluid. Your mechanic can help determine if your brakes require adjusting or if the brake fluid needs to be drained and replaced.
- Low or hard pedal: If your pedal almost touches the floorboard or you have to use extreme pressure to engage your brakes, then this could be a sign of a leak in your braking system. Check underneath your vehicle for a puddle of oil to confirm a leak, which will certainly reduce the effectiveness of your brakes. In this scenario, you should have your car looked at as soon as possible.
You should always consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle to find out when your vehicle is due for service, and also to determine the specific type of brake fluid that is recommended for your vehicle.