If your vehicle's brakes fail when you're driving, the consequences could be fatal. As such, it's important to learn how to recognise the signs of failing brakes. Here are two such signs.
Your car is producing unusual noises
There are specific noises that a car produces when there are problems with its brakes. If for example, you hear a very high-pitched squeal when you press down on the brake pedal, this usually means that the brake pads have completely worn out. The squealing sound is the result of the steel underneath the pads rubbing against the brake rotors.
It's important to have the pads replaced by a mechanic as soon as you hear this sound; if you don't, the rotors will end up damaged, potentially to the point where your brakes will no longer function.
A grinding noise which seems to be present even when you're not pressing down on the brakes can also be a warning sign of serious problems with your car's brake system. This is usually caused by debris (such as loose road gravel or a stone) getting trapped inside the brake callipers. Foreign objects of this kind can do major damage both to the callipers and to the nearby rotors. If you are relatively competent when it comes to mechanics, you may be able to dislodge this debris yourself; however, in most cases, it is best to have a professional mechanic carry out this task for you.
The brake pedal feels soft
If you have noticed that the brake pedal feels soft and almost spongy when you press down on it, this could mean that there is an issue with the brake system's hydraulics.
In most cases, a pedal that feels too soft indicates that the hydraulic pipes have either sprung a leak, which has resulted in a loss of hydraulic fluid, or that an airlock has developed inside these pipes, which is preventing the fluid from performing its function (i.e. to maintain the correct pressure levels in the brake system).
Any problems with the brake's hydraulics should be addressed immediately, as they could easily cause the brakes to fail at a crucial moment (for example, when you need to stop your vehicle to allow a pedestrian to cross the road).
If your brake pedal goes soft when you're on the road, you should pull over and have the vehicle towed to a mechanic, or (if you feel it's safe to do so), drive it to the nearest repair garage.Share
12 July 2017
Hello, my name is William and my passion in life is riding my automobile around town. I love to buy old wrecks and then spend months bringing them back to their former glory. My wife thinks I am completely mad but I keep telling her that you don't have to be mad to do what I do, but it certainly helps! I was a later comer to the world of auto salvage and repair. It was about 12 months ago when my friend Neil introduced me to it. Neil is a real expert and has taught me everything I need to know.