Posted September 16, 2014
By: Mike Veenstra
A working set of brakes is a necessity for any vehicle on the road. This is obvious, of course, but often overlooked as going fast is exciting, and slowing down…less so. However, being able to decelerate safely when you depress the brake pedal is pretty crucial to safe driving.
Do you know the condition of your car’s brakes? How do you know when your brakes need replacing? Here are five signs that you should get your car into the shop to continue driving – and stopping – in safety.
- Your brake light goes on: This one is the easiest and most obvious.
- You hear strange noises: Squeaking brakes are definitely a sign that your brake pads are bad, but grinding noises should also be a big heads up for brake problems. When the squeak becomes a grind, that means that your brake pads are now totally worn through, and your calipers, in tandem with your rotors, are now attempting to stop your car. This should be a bright red flag telling you to get your brakes fixed now.
- Your car pulls: Pulling or drifting to the left or right is often a sign of bad alignment, but it can be a sign of brake problems as well. If your vehicle has a stuck caliper creating friction on one of its wheels, that can cause your car to pull or veer in one direction. If you notice significant problems with pulling, get your car into the shop right away. Even if it isn’t your brakes, it needs to be addressed.
- Your car shakes when braking: Shaking can be a sign that your rotors are bad. Usually this kind of wearing is caused by significant brake stress.
- Your brake pedal becomes too sensitive – or not sensitive enough: If you cannot brake without pushing the brake pedal all the way to the floor, something is seriously wrong. It could be a number of things including your brake’s hydraulics, worn pads, or a brake fluid problem. If your car brakes hard when your foot brushes the pedal, that’s a serious problem too.
Remember, your brakes are what keep you, and everyone else, safer on the road. The cost of a brake repair is significantly less than the cost of a crash and the resultant medical care. With brakes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Of course, good brakes are less effective if the tires on your vehicle are bad. It’s also important to check your tires and replace them when they get worn.
We at Veenstra’s would love to help you keep your car in safe and otherwise tip-top condition. Please call us promptly when your car shows signs of trouble, and we’ll assist you in sorting out the cause.