Following your car manufacturer's suggested auto-servicing schedule will help you to avoid costly repair jobs. However, depending on the area that you drive in as well as on your braking habits, you may need to adopt a different brake-repair schedule. Keep an eye out for these four signs that your brakes are on the fritz to stay safe while driving.
1. Brakes Require More Pressure
In most cases, you can firmly apply pressure in order to engage the brake pedal. If you find that it is taking a considerable amount of pressure in order to get your brakes to deploy, this could be a sign that your brake pads are worn down and need to be replaced immediately.
2. Loud Sounds
All cars make noise, but loud, jarring sounds should never be heard while you are applying the brakes. Startling grinding noises while braking usually mean that your brakes have deteriorated and might even mean that your rotors need to be resurfaced. Squeaking noises tend to be less serious, but this is still a sign that brake-repair servicing is necessary.
3. Loss of Steering Control While Braking
In emergencies, drivers know that they need to take extreme measures such as mashing down on the brakes in order to avoid crashes. Your car should not pull, drift, or swerve sharply when you push the brake pedal. A vehicle that cannot be easily controlled while braking definitely needs to be brought in to an auto technician.
4. Dashboard Indicator Lights
The final and likely most telling sign of failing car brakes will be right under your nose. When you turn on your car, take a look at the dashboard and see if there are any new indicator lights illuminated. More modern cars have indicator lights to show drivers when various car parts are not functioning normally.
5. Strange Odors
Although cars can emit smells after being driven for a long period of time, you should never smell anything burning. Failing brakes can smell both inside and outside of the car, but the odor will be strongest to you when you exit your vehicle. Consider smelling your brakes fizzling out to be a serious sign.
Have your car's brakes system serviced regularly, and try not to put off repairs for long when you notice that something has gone wrong. In most cases, brake repairs can be performed the same day that you bring in your vehicle to a shop like Advanced Auto Care for servicing.