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Signs that your car brakes may be failing

car brakesNeedless to say, brakes are an important safety feature in any vehicle. And problems with car brakes are every driver’s nightmare. Unlike an issue with your ignition lock or malfunctioning car key, failing car brakes could get you in a lot of trouble including huge repair bills and even serious accidents.

Your car’s brake system consists of many components, including brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums, brake calipers and brake fluid, to name a few. These parts have a lifespan and they tend to wear out over a period of time. The problem is issues with car brakes could be difficult to catch and if ignored for long can put you and your co-passengers at risk. Still, there are some tell-tale signs that your car breaks need immediate attention, if you know what to look out for.

Watch for these signs

  1. Break light is on: Illuminated brake light on your car’s dashboard is a sign something could be wrong with your brake system.
  1. Leaking brake fluid: Without brake fluid, also called hydraulic fluid, you will not be able to stop the car, when you push the brake pedal all the way. Driving with low brake fluid can be very dangerous.
  1. Strange noises: It is time to see a mechanic when you hear odd sound like squealing, grinding or scraping. Squealing sounds indicate that your brake pads need to be replaced, lest they should damage the rotor. A damaged rotor will be costly to fix. On the other hand, grinding or scraping noises are a sign of metal on metal, which means the brake pads are completely worn out.
  1. Pulsating or vibrating brake pedal: Brake pads that are severely worn out can result in a pedal that pulsates or shakes when you apply the brake. Sometimes an issue with a rotor could also be the reason for a pulsating pedal.
  1. Brakes that sink into the floor: Your pedal may go all the way into the floor when you press it. Soft, loose pedals indicate that something’s definitely amiss.
  1. You can’t seem to stop the car quickly: If you are taking longer to brake, this is another red flag that something is not right, and you need to address your car brakes right away.
  1. Uneven stopping: Sometimes you may feel your car tends to pull to one side, when you apply brakes.
  1. A burning smell while driving: This could be due to overheated brakes or even clutch. If you smell a sharp odor of this nature, pull your car over immediately to a safe, secure zone. Make sure your parking brakes are released and give some time for the brakes to cool down. If you keep driving with a burning smell, the brake fluid may get excessively heated up, leading to brake fail.

Don’t take these warning signs lightly. Sometimes a simple fix like changing the brake fluid or replacing the pads will do the trick. But if you ignore the signs of a poorly functioning car brakes for too long, it can lead to devastating consequences. Get your braking system checked by a professional the moment you feel something might be wrong with your car brakes. It will not only help you keep your repair costs low but also avoid any unfortunate situation.