It can be tough to know when your brakes need to be changed. Here are four questions to ask yourself about how your brakes and vehicle handles that will help you determine if you need to take your vehicle in for a brake inspection this week.
#1 Can you feel your brakes pulsate when you push on the pedal?
When you push on the brake pedal, you should generally feel it go straight down. You should not feel any movement in your brake pedal. If you start to feel pulsations in your brake pedal when you push down on it, your brakes need to be looked at. Generally, your brakes pulsate when your brakes have been used too much and are overheating. You may not even need to repair your brakes, you just may need to lay off the brake pedal. However, if your brake pads are thin, they may be overheating too quickly and may need to be replaced.
#2 Does your vehicle not stop immediately when you hit the brakes?
Your brakes should be incredibly responsive. If you start to notice that it is taking more time for your vehicle to come to a stop when you use your brakes, your brakes need one of two things done to them. They either need to be adjusted, or a new lining needs to be applied to your brakes.
#3 Do you feel your vehicle pulling you to one side?
If you feel your vehicle pulling you to one side, your brakes may be the real issue. If a caliper becomes stuck and fluid starts to leak out of your brake lines, you'll notice your vehicle start to pull to one side. All that you need to do to fix this issue is have the caliper and the leak fixed. It is important to note though that other issues can cause your vehicle to pull to one side, such as when your tires are misaligned.
#4 Do you hear a grinding or squealing noise when you push on your brakes?
Ideally, your brakes should not make any noise when you drive. You should only be able to tell that you are using your brakes because you are pushing on the pedal and you can feel your vehicle coming to a stop. Your ears should not tell you when you are using your brakes. However, if you are hearing grinding or squealing noises when you use your brakes, something is up.
Squealing sounds generally come from your brakes when the lining is worn out and needs to be replaced or when the disc pads are loose. It can also be caused when the drum or discs need to be worked on.
A grinding noise generally happens when the lining of the pad on your brakes gets worn down. You should get your brakes checked immediately if you hear this sound. Continuing to drive with grinding brakes can lead to even bigger repairs if you don't address the issue quickly.
Your answers to the four questions above should help you determine if you need to set up a brake inspection for your vehicle this week. If you noticed any of the warning signs detailed in the questions and answers above, you should make an appointment (with professionals such as those from Care Muffler & Brake Shop) so you can get a handle on the situation and the repair bill in your future.