Have your car’s brakes been feeling a bit “off” lately?
Do you feel that something’s up with them, but can’t tell if something’s wrong or it’s just your imagination?
Here are 4 signs that your car’s brakes could be in trouble:
1) LOUD SQUEALING OR SCREECHING SOUNDS
If you hear loud squealing or screeching sounds whenever you brake, you should immediately send your car to a workshop.
However, this probably isn’t a cause for worry.
Squealing or screeching usually mean it is time to change your pads.
Pads are sometimes designed to emit these noises to warn the driver that it is time to change them.
Do not ignore this! It means the pads are nearing the end of their serviceable life!
On the other hand, those minor squeaking noises you might hear every so often are okay.
2) YOUR HAVE TO DEPRESS THE PEDAL FURTHER
If you find that you have to press the pedal further (longer pedal travel), it is time to visit your mechanic.
Long pedal travel is a sure sign that the system needs servicing.
Even if you haven’t been hearing screeching or squealing, it is probably time to replace the pads.
The longer travel is caused by the thinning pads.
Even if you think the pads are not the issue, it is better to be safe and have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic.
3) REDUCED STOPPING POWER
If you feel that your stopping distances are increasing, then you need to have your braking system inspected.
Stopping distances increase in wet conditions (because tyres exert less grip) and when your car has more passengers.
However, if you’re driving alone in dry conditions and still have to lean on the pedal harder and for longer than usual, it is time to bring your car to the workshop.
4) YOUR BRAKE WARNING LIGHT IS ON
Different cars have different warning lights for this.
Some will display a message.
For others, you might see your handbrake symbol illuminated, even if you’ve already released it.
Many of these warning lights have an “!” within a red triangle or circle.
The indicator could mean anything from low fluid or a need to change the pads.
Send your car to the workshop immediately!