Automobile Brakes - When is it time to get them changed?

When should I get my brakes changed? Vancouver WA Orchards Washington Uncle Al's Automotive Services

Automobile Brakes – When is it time to get them changed?

May 24, 2016
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The brakes are one of the most important safety features on a car. An accident can occur if they fail to perform as designed. To prevent mishaps, drivers should have their car inspected if they experience any of the following telltale signs that it is time to have your brakes changed.

Fading or Reduced Responsiveness

If the pedal travels all the way to the floor or feels spongy, this could be a sign of an air or fluid leak in the brake system. A stain underneath the vehicle indicates a fluid leak. Another warning sign is the vehicle taking longer to stop than it has in the past. This is indicative of less braking pressure due to an air or fluid leak.

Visual Signs

It may be possible to inspect the brakes through the car wheel spokes. If the pad is less than a quarter-inch thick, it needs to be replaced. The brakes can also be checked for deep groves, or scores, in the rotors. These lines indicate that the pads are excessively worn and need to be replaced.

Pulling or Vibrations

If a car traveling straight pulls to one side when the brakes are applied, it is a sign of unevenly worn brake pads. If the pedals vibrate or pulsate when applied, this is an indication that the brake pads are worn-out or may be warped from excessive heat.

Screeching, Clicking or Grinding Sounds

A high-pitched screeching sound is generated by a metal shim that provides an acoustic warning that a car’s brake pads need to be replaced. This sound may occur if the car has been exposed to rain and snow. The moisture can create a small amount of rust on the brake pads or shim. The screeching sound will disappear after the brakes have been applied a few times. If the noise continues, replace the brake pads. A rattling or clicking sound is another audible signal that it is time to replace the brakes. A grinding or growling sound indicates that the metal caliper and brake rotor are rubbing together when the pedal is applied. When this happens, the mechanic will have to repair or replace the caliper and rotor as well as the brake pads.

A car’s brakes should not be overlooked. Keeping this safety equipment in good working order can prevent expensive repairs in the future and reduce the possibility of a collision.