10 Signs of Vehicle Brake Issues You Shouldn’t Ignore

Did you know there are over 290 million vehicles in the US? While many road accidents occur each year, you can significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a collision by ensuring your vehicle brakes are properly maintained.

But what are the signs of brake issues that you shouldn’t ignore? If your brakes were to deteriorate or fail, this could put the occupants of your vehicle and other road users in serious danger. Although you should regularly have your car serviced by a professional technician who can check your braking system, there are also 10 key warning indicators that you should look out for.

Keep reading to find out more.

1. Squeaky Brakes

If you hear a squeaking noise when braking, it could be because the brake pads have become worn, or dust has gathered between the pads and rotors. The problem might also be due to a lack of lubrication. Getting the issue checked out early and preventing it from getting worse can help you keep repair costs low and make your brakes more effective.

2. Spongy Brakes

Soft or spongy brakes have many causes such as a corroded brake caliper, air bubbles in the brake line, or a low brake fluid level. You might first notice this issue if you need to press the brake pedal more firmly when stopping, or if your brakes don’t respond as quickly as normal.

It’s best to avoid driving your car until the problem has been identified and fixed correctly.

3. Stiff Brake Pedal

A stiff brake can also be a cause for concern. If it’s hard to press your brake pedal downwards, this might be because the brake booster is faulty. This can result in a loss of vacuum pressure.

Alternatively, you might find there is muck or sediment in your brake line, or that there’s a split in the vacuum hose. It might take some time to find the problem, and you may need professional assistance.

4. Grinding Noises

Grinding noises generally suggest that metal is rubbing against metal, and this means you need to book in with a brake repair specialist sooner rather than later. It’s likely that your brake pads have worn down to a dangerous level, and the problem is only likely to get worse until you’ve had the pads replaced.

If the cause is warped rotors, repairs could be expensive, but necessary.

5. Longer Stopping Time

One of the most concerning signs of failing brakes is that it’s taking longer for your vehicle to stop. This can be a frightening experience, especially if there is another vehicle or obstacle in front of you. It’s vital that you address this issue immediately to ensure you can drive safely on the road.

If you’re concerned about the condition of your braking system, check these Ford vehicle services.

6. Burning Smell

Should you notice a burning smell after having new brake pads fitted, this could be the pads settling in and there is nothing to worry about. However, if the smell doesn’t go away, or you haven’t recently changed your brake pads, there may be other causes. These include a jammed wheel cylinder, stuck brake caliper, or brake parts that are past their best.

7. Vehicle Pulling To One Side

Your vehicle could pull to one side for reasons other than brake problems. But, if this issue only arises when you’re reducing speed, the problem may be in your braking system. This might be something that doesn’t initially cause you much concern if the pull is only slight, but you shouldn’t be complacent.

Even a small pull in one direction could result in an accident. It’s also a good idea to have your brakes checked before the pull becomes worse and leaves you without full control of your vehicle.

8. Vibrations When Braking

When brake rotors overheat, they can become misshapen and cause vibrations. In addition, brake drums can also warp, and you’ll need a skilled technician to resolve the issue. While a professional may be able to get the affected parts back into shape, it’s possible they will need to swap them for replacements.

9. Fluid Leak

Brake fluid can leak if parts become damaged or suffer wear and tear. You might become aware of this problem if you spot fluid pooling under your vehicle, or if your brake pedal sinks to the floor. If your brake fluid level is too low, you should not drive your car as your braking system will be seriously impaired.

10. Brake Warning Light Is On

Thankfully, many modern car problems can be identified by looking at your vehicle’s warning lights. Check your car’s handbook and find out which lights relate to your braking system. Should any of these indicators come on when you start the car or are driving, you’ll know it’s time to book your car in with a professional technician.

Look Out for These Signs of Brake Issues

It’s important to look out for signs of brake issues that could have severe consequences. You should have your braking system checked if you notice a burning smell, have a hard or soft brake pedal, or it’s taking you longer to stop your vehicle. It’s also important to be aware of brake vibrations, fluid leaks, and any grinding noises that could indicate your brakes are failing.

This can help you keep your braking system in a roadworthy condition.

If you’ve found this brake issues post helpful, be sure to read more of our terrific blog articles before you go.

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