Most people recognize some of the symptoms that they need to take their car to the auto shop for inspection or repairs. The check engine light is one of the best indicators that your vehicle could need some repairs. These days the car’s computer is connected to every small component and system in your vehicle. Even a loose gas cap can set off the check engine light. Keeping your eye on your dash can keep you from getting in a serious accident. You can figure out other issues with your car by driving it. If your vehicle is pulling to one side, your cars alignment could need readjusting. Your brakes stop you when you hit the brake pedal, meaning they do one of the most important jobs in your car. Working brakes keep your sudden stop in traffic from turning in to a multiple car pileup. So if suspect you are having problems, you should get them checked immediately. But how do you tell if your brakes are going bad?
Common Brakes Issues
Brakes are just like every other system in your vehicle. Your brakes are built to last. Eventually they’ll require maintenance and repairs to keep working properly. There are several signs to look for if you suspect that your brakes need maintenance.
- Brake Light Warning Yes, this is a given. There is a problem with your brake system that requires your immediate attention. Many people tend to ignore the check engine light until it becomes a serious problem since it is connected to most of the small components in your car and could be a loose gas cap. We do not recommend ignoring the check engine light, and we don’t recommend ignoring the brake light warning. If something is wrong with your brakes, it can cause an incident on the road that injures people.
- Grinding or Screeching It’s time to get a brakes check if you hear the sound of metal grinding on metal while braking. This means your brake pads are wearing thin, or have worn down completely. This will damage your brake rotors to where they need repairing or replacement.
- Reduced Responsiveness You stop your car all the time. You’re constantly braking for red lights and stop signs. How your vehicle drives is one of the key indicators that something is wrong with it. If your car takes long and longer to pull to a complete stop, it’s time to take it to the shop for an inspection. Your brake system might be leaking air or brake fluid. This is almost always a clear sign that you require brake repair service.
- Smell Friction can cause a burning smell from your brakes. If you’re using the brakes constantly while traveling down a large incline, this is not a problem. A burning smell during normal car operations is never normal and should be investigated by professionals immediately.
- Uneven Braking Grinding or screeching noises mean your brake pads are wearing down. Uneven braking could be a side effect of a worn down brake pad causing a warped brake rotor. If you pull to one side while braking, your brake rotors could be damaged on one side of your vehicle.
- Vibrations Brake pedals should not vibrate when you press them. Multiple things cause a brake pedal to vibrate. The resin in your brake pads might be unevenly spreading on your brake rotors. Your brake rotors could be warped. Either way it’s time to get your brakes checked by a professional.
How to Keep Your Brakes Working
Your brake system is made up of several different working parts. Many modern vehicles have drum brakes because of their efficient design. These brake systems contain a caliper, a rotor, a piston, and brake pads. The brake pads are mounted on the caliper and the piston and press the rotor. These pads convert the kinetic energy in your vehicle to heat. This is the basic concept of how your brakes work. Your primary concern is the brake pads. Worn brake pads can cause your brakes to wear down faster by letting the metal in your caliper and piston grind into the rotor to make it stop. If you find yourself asking “Do I need new brakes?” the real question maybe be whether or not you need new brake pads.
Is it Hard to Replace Brake Pads?
This depends on what tools you have. You have to raise your car and remove the wheel to access the brakes. Next you have to remove the brake caliper. Now you can change the brake pads. Make sure the caliper doesn’t dangle from the brake lines as this can cause damage. But what causes brake pads to wear quickly? Time wears down all brake pads. Damaged components in your brake system will speed up this process. Your master cylinder can cause problems for your brakes and brake pads. Corrosion on your calipers or pistons can create problems as well. Damaged seals in the piston can keep it from returning to its rest position. Contact a mechanic or auto garage if you suspect your brake pads are wearing out too quickly.
How Long Should Front Brakes Last?
Every vehicle is different. Most drivers drive their vehicles in completely different ways. As a result, it is difficult to know exactly how long your brakes will be good for. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace your brake pads when they get worn down to 25% of their original size. This can be anywhere between 25,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Some peoples brake systems last without new brake pads for almost 70,000 to 80,000 miles. This is a rarity, however, and you should at least check your brakes every so often for signs of damage to the brake rotor. Brake pads aren’t very expensive and you need to change them, on average, once every 50,000 miles. If you’d prefer to save the cost of these brake pad changes, you can always get brakes with lifetime warranty. Once your brake pads wear out, you can take them to where you got your warranty and trade them out for new ones. This is a good option for people who drive a lot, or who want the knowledge that they won’t have to worry much about the brake pads themselves.
You should always hire a professional to service your brake system. By paying attention to the warning signs that you have a problem, you’ll know when you need to take your vehicle in for maintenance. You could also just take your vehicle in for a brake system inspection if you’re concerned but not positive that you have a problem. You can also always lump in your service with other services and inspections, as most mechanics are willing to inspect your brakes and more. Keeping your brakes working will keep you out of potential accidents. Just like if you broke down in Mission Viejo, CA, you would probably end up at this CA auto shop, you should find an auto shop that can service your brake needs. If you need brake system service in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, contact the mechanic experts of J1 Auto Repair at 630-932-4427 today!