Can you tell if your car has brake issues? A properly functioning braking system allows you to slow down or halt your vehicle while driving, ensuring your safety on the road. Since the brakes are used constantly while driving, they inevitably suffer from everyday wear and tear and will require repairs throughout the life of the vehicle.
Early identification of brake problems is essential to ensure timely, successful brake repairs. Like other car repair issues, brake problems worsen over time and increase vehicle repair costs. As a result, it is imperative to take action at the first sign of brake trouble.
Keep reading this article to learn the warning signs of malfunctioning car brakes.
Your Brake Warning Light Comes On
Your car's dashboard has a brake warning light that comes on in two situations — when your parking brake is engaged or when there is a problem with your braking system.
If this warning light comes on when you've just started your car, it shows that the parking brake is engaged and must be completely disengaged before driving. To resolve this issue, just release the parking brake all the way.
If the light continues to illuminate, it is likely that your braking system is faulty and will require repairs. Low brake fluid level is the most common reason why your dashboard brake warning light may illuminate.
Your Brakes Make Unusual Noises When Applied
Under normal circumstances, your brakes should operate quietly. That is why you should never ignore any loud or strange noises that you hear during brake application.
Different brake noises indicate different problems with your brakes. For example, grinding noises may be an indication that your brake pads are worn down completely, causing metal-to-metal contact between the rotor and the backing plates on the caliper.
Your Brake Fluid Is Leaking
Brake fluid is an essential working fluid for your braking system, just as engine oil and transmission fluid are essential to the proper functioning of your engine and transmission respectively.
Aside from lubricating the moving parts of your brakes, brake fluid produces the hydraulic pressure necessary to create and amplify braking forces, allowing you to slow down or halt the vehicle.
While your vehicle is not designed to run out of brake fluid, it can suffer brake fluid leaks, which will result in a low brake fluid level. When your car does not have enough brake fluid, it will lose its stopping power, increasing the risk of an auto accident.
If you spot a puddle of brake fluid under your car, fix the issue right away to avoid severe consequences later. Fresh brake fluid is typically yellowish in color but will become darker as you drive.
As wear and tear take its toll on your brakes, brake problems are bound to arise. Any problem with your car's braking system poses a major safety concern for you, your passengers, and other road users. You wouldn't knowingly get behind the wheels of a car with no brakes, so you shouldn't do almost the same thing by ignoring indications of brake problems.
Visit a local car shop such as Fast Service Center if you have observed signs of brake trouble.