Owning a vehicle can be difficult. Not only are there expenses associated with financing, insurance and gas, but you also need to put time and money into maintenance. From oil changes and tire rotations to a complete detailing to keep your vehicle looking great, it is easy to see how maintenance can be overwhelming.
Operating your vehicle in a safe manner is also necessary, since traffic fatalities are at their highest percentage in 50 years. While many accidents are caused by careless mistakes and dangerous weather conditions, some accidents may be caused by improperly functioning braking systems. Ensuring your brakes are in good working condition is imperative, so use this guide to determine if your brake pads or rotors are in distress.
Squealing, Screeching or Clicking Noises
If you hear a loud squealing, screeching or clicking sound when applying your brakes, you may need new brake pads.
Your brake pads act as a protective cushion, insulating the space between your rotors and wheel caliper. Over time, the continuous use of your brakes will wear down the pad’s surface. This decreases the effectiveness of your braking system, resulting in metal-on-metal contact when you apply your brakes.
Pads that are worn down may cause you to hear metal contact when braking, which will sound similar to a squealing, screeching or loud clicking noise.
Unfortunately, there is not a recommended mileage schedule to follow when determining when to replace your brake pads. However, if you are noticing these abnormal sounds when using your brakes, it is time for new pads.
Vibration in Brake Pedal or Steering Wheel
When you apply the brakes, your vehicle should begin stopping in a smooth, effective manner. If you feel a vibrating sensation when you apply your brakes, consult with your auto repair technician today. In some instances, the vibrating may be due to an issue in the engine or to tires with poor tread and low air pressure, but the abnormal feeling may also be due to worn pads and warped rotors.
As your brake pads wear down from continuous use, the excess metal contact will cause the rotors to warp. Attempting to stop your vehicle with worn pads and warped rotors is dangerous. Not only will you experience a vibrating, shaking sensation in the pedal or steering wheel when braking, but the decreased quality of these parts may prevent your vehicle from stopping altogether.
Replacing your brake pads is imperative, but you should also install new rotors to make sure your vehicle’s braking system is in proper working condition.
Vehicle Pulls to One Side When Braking
Even though applying your brakes will slow down and stop all four of your wheels, each brake pad and rotor will wear down at different rates. Although the differences may be small, the uneven wearing down of each pad and rotor will display noticeable symptoms.
If you notice that the front of your car is pulling to one side when you apply your brakes, a technician should check your pads and rotors for distress. If you don’t install new pads and rotors, the constant pulling to the right or left may cause more serious damage. If left unrepaired, the constant stress can damage wheel bearings, the steering column and the ball joints.
It is important to note that faulty brakes may not be the cause of the pulling to one side. Uneven air pressure and imbalance of the tires or a faulty alignment may be the root cause of this pulling.
Your braking system is important for your safety and the vehicle’s overall function. To learn more about maintaining or replacing your brakes, contact the professional auto repair technicians at Neuhaus Service, Inc. today.