Maintaining your brake system is the best way to tell whether they’re going bad before they do so and you end up in a pickle. Integrity Auto Repair services, repairs, and replaces all types of brakes, and we also know our way around an anti-lock braking system. How can you tell if your brakes are going bad? Here are five signs that you should bring your vehicle in for a brake check as soon as possible.
Ear-splitting squeaks or squeals? Grinding that sounds as if it’s metal-against-metal? These are signs of brake problems that need to be addressed soon if not right away. Screeching sounds mean your brake pads are getting too low, and grinding sounds mean they already are too low. Grinding also suggests you’ve got something caught up in your brake calipers or your drum brakes need lubricating.
Shaking, Wobbling, or Vibrating
Unless your wheels are out of balance and/or alignment, your vehicle should ride smoothly and brake smoothly. If you feel any motion at all in your brake pedal or steering wheel when you slow down and stop, brake trouble is afoot. Usually, the wobbling is caused by your rotors, which have seen their fair share of rotations and are worn down. Brake calipers can stick, too, and this will cause movement.
Brake Fluid Leaks
If you see amber, light brown, or dark brown fluid on your garage floor, stick your finger in it and then rub your finger against your thumb to check its consistency. If the fluid is slick and oily, it’s actually brake fluid instead of motor oil. Who would’ve thought? Brake fluid can leak from the brake lines or your master cylinder. Either way, the source of the leak needs to be fixed right away.
Funky Brake Pedal Feel
If you are low on brake fluid or there is air in the brake lines, which can happen over time, your brake pedal might feel spongy when you depress it to slow down and stop. It might also sink lower than normal, which can be scary if you don’t think you can stop your car, truck, or SUV in time. Your brake pedal feel should never change. If it feels funky, have the brake system checked.
Finally, when you’re steering straight your vehicle should go straight without pulling to the right or left. If it pulls while you’re driving, your vehicle alignment is off and needs to be adjusted. If your automobile pulls to the right or left when you apply the brakes, you may have a caliper problem on that side or a bad brake hose. A straight steering wheel means a straight car, whether driving or braking.
Call Integrity Auto Repair in Eugene, OR, for a brake system inspection.