~~7 Warning Signs That Your Brakes Need Serviced


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~~Keep your vehicle safe and save money! Brakes are one of the most commonly neglected areas by owners. However, putting off brake repairs can be costly and dangerous.


~~Here's why: The longer you use your brakes after the first indication they need service, the higher the possibility you will not only have to pay for routine service, but you increase the chances that real damage can occur.


~~The Seven Signs


~~ 1. Low Brake pedal or brake fade


~~The brake system relies on hydraulic pressure to activate the brake assembly and stop your automobile. Under normal conditions, brake line pressure should remain constant and provide consistent brake pedal pressure. Brake fade indicates that something has occurred that is diminishing the effectiveness of the hydraulic circuit.


~~2. Vehicle pulls to one side during braking


~~Car pulls to one side when the brakes are applied frequently indicates the brakes are out of adjustment. Over time, improperly adjusted brakes will result in uneven brake wear, diminished vehicle handling during braking and can increase the possibility of an accident during emergency stopping. A sticking caliper piston will cause braking to be uneven and lead to uneven or premature pad wear. It may also cause the brakes to overheat if the caliper freezes with the brakes on.


~~3. Shimmy


~~Brakes rely on >friction to stop vehicles. To accomplish this, a flat cast iron disc called a rotor is bolted to the wheel. When the wheel turns, the disc also rotates. Stepping on the brake pedal pressurizes the brake's hydraulic circuit causing a vice-like device called a caliper to force the brake pads to grip the spinning rotor. The caliper causes enough friction between the pads and the spinning rotor to slow or stop the wheel. However, the rotor can become warped over time due to overheating, rapid cooling or prolonged use. If the rotor becomes warped, when the pads attempt to grip the spinning rotor, they are unable to grip the entire rotor surface, but rather are only coming into contact with the highest portions of the rotor. The pedal may tend to pulsate or you may feel the steering wheel shake as the brakes are applied.


~~4. Squeaky brakes


~~Some brake squeaks are caused by harmless brake dust that builds up as if rubs off the pads during normal braking. But frequently squeaky brakes are the first indication that it is time to have your brakes serviced. A soft piece of metal, called a wear indicator, is attached to the brake pad assembly. As brake pads wear over time, the wear indicator will gradually come into contact with the spinning brake rotor, making a squeaking noise when the brakes are applied. If left unattended, the squeaking noise will eventually be replaced by a grinding sound.


~~5. Grinding noise when you brake


~~If you hear a grinding noise when you brake, you have a serious brake problem that will need immediate attention. The cause of brake grinding is usually caused when the brake pads wear through, resulting in metal on metal contact. Not only will braking tend to be severely compromised, but you can easily damage your brakes by making deep grooves in the brake rotors or drums. In addition, frequent braking can cause a great deal of heat to build up, potentially damaging the brakes further or leading to brake failure


~~6. Spongy brakes.


~~The brake system relies pressurized brake fluid, brake hoses and lines and mechanical parts to stop your vehicle. Because fluids do not compress, brake fluid provides a good medium. However, if a leak develops, or the brakes have been recently serviced, air can enter the brake line. Because air can be compressed, even a small amount of air in the brake line can cause the brake pedal to feel soft or spongy when it is depressed, reducing stopping efficiency. Brake related faults should be serviced immediately.


~~7. Brake pedal is hard to depress


~~Most power brakes use a vacuum assist unit to make reduce the amount of force required to depress the brake pedal and stop the vehicle. If the pedal suddenly becomes more difficult to depress, there is a good chance that a leak is occurring somewhere within the vacuum assist unit.


~~*Whenever your vehicle begins to act up, we encourage you to have a professional service technician perform a thorough inspection. As a general rule, it is best to have your vehicle serviced as soon as problems arise. Call us and we can repair your brakes and keep your car safe.