Car brakes are important for obvious reasons, but despite how crucial they are to keeping us safe on the road, they’re one of those maintenance items that’s easy to forget. As long as the car stops when we step on the brake, they’re working, right? Well, yes. But car brake maintenance is just as important as regular oil changes and essential to keeping you and others safe on the road.
Signs That You Need Car Brake Maintenance
Your Brakes Don’t Work As Well As They Used To
‘Brake fade’ is the technical term for ‘your brakes don’t’ work as well as they used to’. Brake fade is often difficult to identify because the gradual wear of your brake pads happens over time. In other words, you get used to needing to apply more and more pressure to the brakes to stop and just don’t notice it. Brake fade happens when your brake fluid is low, your brake pads are worn down, or both.
Your Car Pulls to the Side When You Brake
Your car shouldn’t be moving anywhere but straight forward when you press the brake pedal. When your car pulls to the side when you brake, that’s a good sign that you need car brake maintenance. Debris in the brake fluid, unevenly worn pads, suspension problems, and worn rotors are just a few potential reasons your car may pull when you brake. All of these issues can lead to larger and more costly issues down the line, so addressing them sooner can help you avoid expensive repairs later.
Your Brake Fluid Levels Are Low
Your brake fluid ensures that there’s enough pressure in the braking system to effectively apply force to stop the vehicle. A leak is one of the most common causes of low brake fluid levels, which means it’s especially important to bring your car to a mechanic like T3 Atlanta.
You can check your brake fluid yourself by opening your hood and, after consulting your owner’s manual to find out where the brake fluid reservoir is located, checking to see how much fluid is inside. If you aren’t comfortable with doing this, any mechanic can check your brake fluid.
Although it may be tempting while your brakes still work, don’t ignore the problem: when you run out of brake fluid, it’s just like you see in the movies – your brakes will no longer stop your vehicle. Since you want your brakes to stop your car when you press the brake pedal, it’s important to find and fix what’s causing low brake fluid in your car.
Your Brakes Are Making Strange Noises
When your brakes are working properly, they shouldn’t make any unusual noises unless you’re coming to a very sudden stop or the moisture from wet road conditions is making them squeal.
The rest of the time, any noise from your brakes should be a reason to get your brakes inspected. There’s a metal shim in your brake pads that is designed to notify you when your brake pads are getting thin. Regularly hearing this squeal is a sign that your brakes will need to be changed soon.
Once you start hearing grinding or growling noises, you need to take your car to your mechanic as quickly as possible for car brake maintenance. Grinding and growling noises indicate that your brake pads are completely worn out. Not changing your brake pads can lead to expensive rotor or caliper damage, which can, in turn, cause the brake system to overheat and fail.
Your Brake Pedal Vibrates When You Press Down
Your brake pedal should depress smoothly when you press it unless you’re braking very quickly and you feel your anti-lock system kick in. The rest of the time, a vibrating brake pedal means that you need car brake maintenance.
From debris in your brake pads to misaligned wheels, there are many possible reasons your brake pedal may vibrate. That’s why having an experienced mechanic inspect your car is important: the mechanic can identify exactly what’s causing the vibration and prevent costly long-term damage.
Visit T3 Atlanta For Car Brake Maintenance
Modern brake pads have a long life, generally lasting 50,000 miles or more depending on your driving habits. If you notice any of the signs we’ve outlined above, give T3 Atlanta a call. Our team is made of highly trained and experienced professionals who are dedicated to giving you the best quality service Atlanta’s auto shops have to offer.