Brake repair and maintenance is arguably the most essential part of responsible car ownership. You can get a new transmission or engine if you need it, but bad brakes can kill you. Don’t take it from us, as brake failures lead to over 300,000 accidents every year.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to monitor your brakes and prevent issues before they happen. Here are some crucial brake issues you shouldn’t ignore!
1. Overheating or Burning
If you begin to smell something burning when applying your brakes, they almost certainly need adjusting. When brakes are attached incorrectly, it can lead to overheating and burning when contacting the metal.
To test this, drive somewhere safe (like a parking lot) and “ride the brakes” for a bit. From there, park the car and get out to look at your brakes, which you can see through the wheel.
Are they red with heat? Do you smell anything when you get close? If so, bring your car to a mechanic right away and have it towed if necessary, as this can damage your wheels and pose several safety risks.
2. Leaking Brake Fluid
When cars lose brake fluid quickly, you need to get that fixed right away. If your reservoir is empty, don’t drive it. Instead, have the car towed to a mechanic.
If you notice leaks on the ground near your wheels, take a look at your brake fluid. If you’re unsure, monitor the levels and see if it empties as you drive.
Remember, don’t touch brake fluid with your bare hands! It’s highly corrosive, so either wear latex gloves or don’t touch it at all.
If you hear a squeak when you hit the brakes once, it could just be water. However, if it’s persisting, this is actually a built-in feature of modern brake pads. There’s a metal tab at a certain depth on your pads specifically designed to squeak when they contact your metal rotors.
Therefore, if you start to hear a high-pitched noise when you brake, it’s time to replace your pads and potentially your rotors. Bring your car to a trusted brake mechanic as soon as possible.
4. Steering Wheel Issues While Braking
Does your steering wheel shake or turn to one side while you apply the brakes? If so, it’s time to get them adjusted or replaced.
Even if they only have a few miles on them, bring your car in for a brake inspection right away if you experience this.
Take Care of These Brake Issues Right Away
Now that you know some common brake issues to watch out for, keep an eye, ear, and nose on your brakes. They can tell you all that you need to know about the most important safety feature in your car.
Keep reading our blog for our latest automotive tips, and contact us if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment today!