Your brakes can be deceiving sometimes. You can sometimes see or feel the signs of brakes needing replacement, but then it’ll turn out that you don’t. Other times you may think your brakes are fine, but you need to replace them soon. Here are 5 telltale signs you need to change your brakes.
1. Listen for any abnormal sounds
Think of your car as a well-oiled machine. It works properly when everything’s working in sync. Your brake systems are the same. However, if you hear abnormal sounds when you press on the brake pedal, that may mean that something’s up with your brakes.
Any grinding, squeaking, or squealing noises are the ones you should look out for. These sounds usually mean that there’s a part grinding with another part that it’s not meant to, or that the materials of your brakes are too worn down to work properly.
Always remember that when your brakes are in perfect condition, they hardly make any noise when utilized. That means that anything out of the ordinary might be something you should take a look at.
2. Feel for ‘extra shaky’ vibrations
Vibrations often come from the engine of the car. The vibrations we’re talking about here, though, are vibrations that you feel on the steering wheel whenever you press on the brake pedal. If you feel these vibrations, chances are that your brake rotors have been warped by high temperatures.
Warped rotors cause your brake pads to wear unevenly, ultimately causing all the other parts in your brake system to warp accordingly. Our advice is to meet with a professional right after concluding that your steering wheel is vibrating when you brake.
3. Look out for the brake pad indicator on the dash
Most cars have a brake pad indicator on the dash. Some even have indicators for the anti brake-lock system (ABS). Usually, the brake pad indicator is the same as your handbrake indicator, however, if your brakes aren’t engaged and these light up, it may be indicative of a problem. Have your car checked by a professional if you can’t spot the problem with a visual inspection.
4. Gauge your braking power
Brand-new brakes often feel too sensitive. Worn-down brakes, on the other hand, feel like they don’t slow you down at all. If this is the case, then you might have to have your brakes checked. The most common cause for this is thin brake pads or low brake fluids.
If your problem turns out to be low brake fluids, then it’s most likely that your car is leaking out your brake fluids. This could be a big problem moving forward, so the optimal solution is to have your car checked out immediately.
5. Visually inspect your brake pads
Sometimes, it’s as easy as doing a visual inspection of your car. Brake pads are often easily visible, depending on what rims you have on. If your rims aren’t too intrusive, then you’ll be able to see right away whether your brake pads are thinning or not.
Among everything listed above, this might be the simplest problem to solve. Having your brake pads replaced is almost as common as having your teeth checked by the dentist. Don’t worry about replacing them too early, because you’d be happier than if you replaced them too late.
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