Braking Bad

How to know when your vehicle needs brake repair

Posted on Mar 26 2020 in DIY
Woman driving a car

Let’s face it: In the normal course of driving, we’re hard on our vehicle’s braking system. We tap our brakes while enduring stop-and-go traffic and occasionally have that sudden “brake check” to avoid a collision.

During your automobile’s life span, and depending upon how long you keep your vehicle, you may need to replace your brakes more than once. So, how do you know when your car is ready for a brake repair or replacement?

According to AAA, there are five warning signs when you may need brake repair:

  1. You apply the brakes and hear a high pitch or grinding noise. This is a strong indicator the brakes have worn thin.
  2. You apply the brakes and feel a vibration. This indicates warped brake rotors. A professional inspection can help determine whether they should be resurfaced or replaced.
  3. The brake pedal feels differently — either low or spongy — and takes more effort to apply. This means there’s a potential problem with the brake system that should be promptly diagnosed.
  4. You apply the parking brake, either by foot or hand, and do not feel resistance. This may require an adjustment or a repair. (Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, AAA recommends always applying the parking brake before exiting the vehicle.)
  5. The dashboard indicator for the anti-lock braking system (ABS) is illuminated (usually yellow). The ABS prevents the wheels from locking up so you can maintain control of the vehicle during hard stops.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to take your automobile to a professional for an inspection. He/she can determine the extent of the repairs or replacement to your braking system.

Source: AAA Motor Club