Wednesday 09 Oct , 2013

Brakes are such an essential and crucial part of an automobile. Brakes can actually be the difference between life and death. Keeping in mind the performance and functioning of the brakes is a necessity, especially if you’ve had the current set for a while. There are a few main ways of identifying brake warning signs. These are by looking, listening, and observation.

Looking involves the casual observation of the details that pertain to the brake system, such details include the brake lights. The light comes on for a few seconds once the car is ignited and then goes off. But when the light appears while you are driving, that gives a clear indication of a fault in your braking system, which means it’s time to consider the problem. This can be an indication of low brake fluid or a problem with the brake master cylinder. One can also be able to actually look and observe the brake pads through the wheel’s spokes. One should be able to see ¼ inch of pad, and if less then the pads are worn out and need replacement.

Listening, on the other hand, is vital to a driver in taking signs of the need of new brakes. Once squealing/grinding noises are heard from the brakes, this is an indication that brake pads are worn out or glazed. The squealing noises originate from the wear indicators after they get into contact with the brake rotor. The rear brakes should be checked after every six months as they often have no wear indicators.

When a vehicle pulls to one side while braking, it is an indication that there might be a problem with the braking system. The brake linings may be wearing unevenly or that might be a foreign matter, such as dirt, in the brake fluid. Brake checking and adjustment should follow, or a fluid draining and replacement should be carried out.

Loss of the brake pedal is one other indication that you need work done on your braking system. The loss of the brake pedal means that the pedal sinks towards the floor and is not responsive or is barely responsive. This usually is as a result of brake fluid leakage. Once this happens, either of the following needs to be checked and replaced; brake hose, wheel cylinder, brake caliper, or the master cylinder. At this point it is extremely crucial to take action, even if the brakes work enough at the moment.

Another of the common signs that you need new brakes is having an excessive or abnormal drag of the vehicle during acceleration. This usually indicates that your emergency brake cable has seized as a result of rust and may not be releasing as required.

The need for new brakes can also be indicated by a vibrating or pulsating brake pedal, which is identified by an up and down movement of the brake pedal while applying the brakes. This problem is as a result of a warped rotor that is caused by heat and mechanical wear. When a motor vehicle gets to the point of having a pulsating brake pedal, then immediate replacement is advised as no repair can be done.

Keeping your brakes in check is going to be the difference between having control of your vehicle or finding yourself in an accident. Don’t hesitate to check your brakes, even if you think you’re just being a bit paranoid.

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