Though something many drivers rarely think of, your vehicle’s brakes are vital to driving safety and should always be in good condition. After an extended period of driving without brake service, you may notice rumbling or grinding noises during braking, and likely a longer distance for stopping. Let’s go over some signs and symptoms of worn brakes that need replacing.
Drivers may visually inspect their vehicle’s disc brakes by taking a peek between the wheel spokes at your brake pads. The outside brake pad will be pressed up against a metal rotor. Ideally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad remaining. If it appears there is less than that amount, it may be time to have your mechanic install new pads.
Ever hear a high-pitched squeaking or squealing sound when you hit the brakes? That sound results from a small metal shim called an indicator, which puts off this sound when the pads are wearing thin. If you hear this sound on a regular basis while driving, immediate have your brakes serviced by your mechanic.
There is one exception to this, and that is when your vehicle’s brakes have been exposed to water, such as rain or a car wash. If the vehicle has not been driven for a day or two after exposure to water, a thin layer of rust will develop on the rotors. For the first few stops you may hear a slight squeaking noise – that is the rust being worn off by the pads and is no cause for alarm.
Fading and Reduced Responsiveness
When the brakes are not as responsive as normal, or if you find yourself putting the petal to the floor in order to stop, this might be a sign of a brake fluid leak or air leak in the brake hose. In this case, you may notice small puddles of fluid when you park the vehicle
Loud Grinding and Rumbling
If you hear this unmistakably loud sound during braking, it means the pads have been totally worn down. More serious damage can be caused in this case, as the calipers will physically scrape against the rotors causing damage that can only be remedied by turning or replacing the rotors entirely.
Heavy Vibration and Wobbling
Although this can sometimes mean the vehicle is out of alignment, vibrating when braking can mean warped rotors if you notice that it occurs when the anti-lock system is not engaged. Warped rotors typically result from extensive, heavy braking for long periods of time, such as when descending a mountain or towing, or from cheap rotors not capable of maintaining their integrity under high heat conditions. The constant friction of the brakes generates very high temperatures, eventually causing the rotors to warp. The vibration is due to the fact that the pads can’t get an even grip on the warped rotors.
Your vehicle’s brakes should never be overlooked, and treated witht he same care as any other safety feature. If you have noticed any of these symptoms while driving, our highly trained and certified technicians at Havoline® xpress lube® in Kernersville, NC will determine the problem and the most effective solution, and get you and your vehicle back on the road in prime condition.
Call us today at (336) 993-7697!