8 Signs your brakes need changing

Your braking system is one of the most important parts of your car. Making sure it works correctly will not only allow you to have a smoother journey, but can also save your life in an unexpected situation on the road. Essentially, your car’s braking system is very complex, and sometimes it’s hard to tell what exactly is wrong with your brakes. However, in this informative guide, we advise you about the key brake issues to look out for. We also discuss the main causes for brake problems, and how to prevent them.

Causes of faulty brakes

If just one of the components of your brakes lets you down, then this could impact the whole braking system. The most common causes of brake issues are:

  • Warped rotors: your rotors are in a constant state of warming up and cooling down, which can cause them to lose shape over time and naturally, will need replacing. Your rotors can become damaged prematurely if you tend to brake harshly or drive at high speeds.
  • Low brake fluid: the hydraulic system of your brakes means that it is essential for your brake fluid to be topped up. Otherwise, there won’t be enough fluid to create pressure on your brakes - which is key in allowing them to gradually stop your vehicle. Although this may seem like a common issue, low brake fluid sometimes needs to be checked by a mechanic, as this problem could be caused by a leaking master’s cylinder.
  • Failing brake hose: when functioning, your brake hose should be flexible enough to aid wheel suspension. If this breaks, it can cause issues such as brake fluid leakage.

How to tell if I need new brakes

  1. Unusual noises: pay attention to the type of noises that you hear from your car, as they could indicate a bigger issue with your brakes. A grinding noise most likely means that your metal disc and caliper are rubbing together, which causes your brake pads to be worn down. Whereas, a screeching noise indicates that you may have rust on your tyre discs. In this case, there is less need to worry as this will improve over time.
  2. Brake lights: perhaps the most obvious sign that your brakes need repairing is when the brake lights come on. However, in this scenario, there is no need to panic as this doesn’t mean that your brakes have stopped working entirely. Much rather, there may be an element of the brakes which need assessing such as the anti-lock feature. Ensure once your brake lights have come on that you drive to your nearest garage as soon as possible to have the problem diagnosed.
  3. Vibrations: when you brake, if you feel vibrations in the steering wheel or brake pedals, this could indicate an issue with your brake discs.
  4. Brake pads appears thin: your car may not present with any obvious issues whilst driving. However, if you feel that your brake pads appear to be less than ¼ inch thick, then this is a cause for concern – and you should get them checked.
  5. Brake drag: If you notice that your brakes are not as sharp as they once were, this could indicate a case of brake drag. This implies your brake pads are worn down, which will lead to you experiencing longer stopping distances. This can be very dangerous, so it is recommended that you get your brakes checked immediately.
  6. Leaks on the inner wheels: when checking for brake issues, it is a good idea to check your inner wheels. For instance, if you spot a slightly odorous clear liquid, this could be brake fluid, which would imply a leak.
  7. Pulling to the left or right: when one of your brake pads are worn out, then you may feel your car pull to one side. In an emergency situation, this could be really dangerous as you need to track straight when you brake.
  8. Brake sinking: if you feel the brake pedal sinking to the floor when you are stopping, this signals that your brake fluid is most likely leaking.

How do I prevent issues with my brakes?

  • Don’t ride your brake excessively: if you are putting your foot on the brake when there is no need, your brake pads will be more prone to wearing down.
  • Avoid city driving: driving in a city causes you to stop and start more often, which then leads to increased wear and tear on your brakes.
  • Reduce weight in your vehicle: a heavy loaded vehicle causes more momentum when the car is moving which, in turn, can put pressure on your brakes.
  • Avoid sudden braking: drivers who keep enough distance between them and other cars, are less likely going to need to slam on the brakes. This prevents the brakes from wearing out over time.

Brake maintenance with Setyres

After reading this article, you may have identified some issues with your brakes. If this is the case, then do not hesitate to contact our specialist team for more information. Not only can you find motor related products, but you can also have a free brake check with one of our specialist technicians. Visit your local branch today.

Posted on: 10/11/2021

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