Five Signs That Your Brakes Need Attention

stop-signSomething we all take for granted each day is our vehicle brake system. Brake systems involve a number of integrated components, all of which are subject to wear and eventual failure. Brake system failure is one of the most dangerous car problems you can experience, and it could put your life and the lives of your passengers in danger.

Fortunately your vehicle has ways of letting you know that your brakes may be compromised. By paying attention to these five signs that you may have brake system issues, you can have problems addressed before they put your safety at risk.

1. Hearing Strange Noises
If you hear a high, screeching sound when you apply your brakes, there is a good chance your brake pads need to be replaced.

2. Vehicle Pulls to One Side
If you notice that your vehicle gravitates to one side when you are braking it might indicate that the brake lining is wearing unevenly or that the brake fluid is contaminated.

3. Brake Pedal Doesn’t Feel Right
If your brake pedal feels spongy or sinks to the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. A leak affecting the brake system could be an air leak in the brake hose, or a brake fluid leak.
If the brake pedal feels hard or very difficult to press, your vehicle might have a blockage in the brake line or have an issue in the vacuum system.

4. Feeling Vibration When Braking
You feel a vibration in your brake pedal during breaking that is similar to the vibration you feel when the anti-lock brakes feature engages when your vehicle starts sliding. A vibration or pulsating brake pedal can be a symptom of warped rotors.

5. Grabbing When Braking
If you experience a grabbing or jerking feeling when you apply the brakes, it could be an indication that the rotor is unevenly worn or that the brake fluid is contaminated and needs to be changed.

Along with these signs, the warning light on your dashboard will illuminate if your vehicle’s computer system senses any problems. Although sometimes these lights can come on even when there is not a problem, you should always take your vehicle in and let your service technician determine whether or not your brakes are okay.