Brakes are an essential part of any vehicle. Without these, you can’t stop, which obviously could lead to a serious accident! That’s why it’s important for every vehicle owner to keep brakes in good shape and not put off repairing issues when they arise. Luckily, brakes wear out over time, and you can often begin to feel when these are starting to fail.
Common things that can indicate potential brake failure:
* Your car shakes or moves irregularly when you brake;
* Your stopping distance increases;
* A warning light comes;
* You hear noises like a squealing or grinding when you brake. (Your brakes making noises might be the most obvious thing that tells you something is wrong, though this could mean a variety of things that are best diagnosed by a professional.)
Worn out brake pads
Your brake pads are an important part of your vehicle. When you brake, the pads apply pressure to the brake rotor that causes the wheel to slow down using friction. Pads can be made out of fiberglass, resins or wool fibers depending on what type of vehicle you have.
When brake pads start wearing down, then the brake rotors are coming into contact with the metal backing of the pads which can cause an unpleasant squeaking noise when you brake. (Like fingernails on a chalkboard.) The pads typically have a service life of between 15,000 to 40,000 miles before these need to be replaced. This life span is influenced by your driving style, for example, how often and how hard you apply your brakes, or even if you installed cheap brake pads. (You will wear your brake pads out faster if you use your brakes a lot or if you installed cheap brake pads.)
Worn out or rusted brake rotors
Having worn-out or rusted brake rotors can also cause a squeaking noise when you brake. Because these are made out of metal, they can become rusted. Because rust isn’t a big brake issue, you can sometimes solve the issue by driving at high speeds and then braking hard a few times. (But please do so carefully and when conditions are safe.)
Worn rotors can frequently be solved pretty easily – if caught early enough – often by turning the rotors. If not, then you should get them replaced. Rotors that are very worn can form an outer edge of the rotor, causing it to grind and emit a squealing noise as well. You may be able to remove the outer edge by using an angle grinder with the proper attachment.
A rock is stuck between the brake pad and rotor
An issue that happens with some car models is that rocks and other hard objects get stuck between the brake pad and the disc rotor or the caliper bracket and the brake rotor. You might be able to tell this has happened if you start hearing a high-pitched scratching noise. If you know there is something stuck, you can try to reverse then drive your care forward a few times to get it out. If that doesn’t work, you might need to take your brakes apart to remove the object.
Your brakes are a critical part of your vehicle. If you think that there may be an issue or you just want to get these checked to make sure they are in working order, please don’t hesitate to come by Houska Automotive. Our team of trained experts is ready to help