Cars are an essential part of our daily lives. That is why it is imperative that they are a safe mode of transportation for not only the users themselves but those around them during the everyday commutes.
Healthy brakes are integral for the safety of passengers and bystanders alike. To ensure that they remain in good condition, we will look at seven signs that you need to watch out for regarding brake pads.
Brake Warning Light
One of the earliest signs of brakes malfunction is a blinking brake warning light. Usually, in most modern cars, there are two brake warning lights. One of them indicates a mechanical failure while the other suggests a problem with the anti-lock brakes (ABS) system. While one can use the car without the ABS, it is best to have it in working order as it is a useful safety feature.
If the brake warning lights come on, our immediate response should be to take the car for an inspection. In most cases, it comes on when the brake fluid is low. It can occur due to several reasons. One of them is that the brake pads are worn out.
This is because brakes consume more oil to displace worn-out brake pads towards the brake disc. A more severe scenario is a brake fluid leak which can be observed by the puddle of oil beneath the car. In that case, the vehicle must not be driven, and a mechanic should be called to inspect the car.
Another early sign of brake failure is the inadequate response from the brakes. If after applying brakes you notice that the car is taking longer to stop or does not come to a dead stop in case of emergency brakes, then there is a definite cause of concern.
Again this can be caused due to multiple factors. Usually, it is caused by a leak in the braking system. An air leak in the brake hose or a fluid leak in the reservoir can cause such symptoms. Similarly, we can also assume that brake pads may be worn out.
Worn out brake pads do not create enough friction with the brake rotors, thus leading to a delayed response. This can be further reinforced if the brake response does not improve even after pushing the brakes all the way. To determine the exact cause, a visit to a regular car workshop is necessary.
If the application of brakes leads to peculiar noises, then one must not ignore them. Different sounds can mean different things. Irrespective of the type of noise, it implies that there is something that needs to be addressed with the brakes.
A screeching noise may suggest that the brake pads have worn thin and may need to be replaced. This can be preceded by a squealing noise as well due to the dust accumulation near the worn out brake pads.
When the brake pads have deteriorated to the point that brake calipers are hitting the brake rotor directly, it will start creating a scratching sound. A grinding noise can occur if a rock or a stone gets caught in the braking unit.
Brakes that take longer to return to their neutral position is also a sign of brakes not working correctly. This may not appear to be a pressing concern, but in the event of an emergency, a split second can prove to be the difference between life and death.
The most common cause for such a brake response is worn out brake pads. Since the thickness of the brake pads has reduced due to wear and tear, they need to travel further to establish contact with the rotor. The decrease in depth of the brake pads may also lead to a less elastic response, and the brakes may take longer to return to their neutral position.
Wear and tear is something that may not be observed in day to day usage of the car, but a diligent car owner may be able to see it. Every once in a while, one can get the braking system visually inspected, especially in cases where other symptoms of brake issues have popped up as well.
Any excessive wear and tear, dent or physical damage may indicate the need to replace a specific part of the braking system. One example of visible wear and tear marks on the brake rotor. This is observed in cases where previous signs were neglected, and the brake pads have worn out significantly.
This shows that the rotor is being hit directly, and as a result, it is creating marks on the rotor itself.
Car sliding to one side
A strange sign of problems with brake pads is that the car slides to one side when brakes are applied. This is risky as well as it can cause the vehicle to skid and in a high-speed situation, it can send the car in a tailspin.
The car sliding to one side when brakes are applied usually points towards irregular wear and tear of the brake pads meaning that one of them has deteriorated more than the other. It can also lead to a vibration in the brake pedal itself.
This is usually experienced in the case mentioned above, or it can occur if the rotor is going bad. Whatever the case, one must consult a professional to get the correct diagnosis.
Mileage did by the car
A common misconception exists that if the vehicle is working fine, then it does not require an inspection. The reality is that cars are like humans, and just like humans, they need regular check-ups even if they are working correctly. The car is filled with many moving parts, and, naturally, they will experience wear and tear over time.
Brakes are no different from the rest of the moving components present within the car. Brake pads wear off, and other parts of the braking system need service as well. After completion of a certain amount of mileage by the vehicle, a check-up becomes necessary.
The owner’s manual contains those recommended numbers typically. By following them accordingly, you can not only ensure the good health of your brakes but of your car as well.