If you have noticed that the brakes of your vehicle have not been operating in their usual manner, you need to have them serviced. Still, it may be difficult to define what is normal and what is not when it comes to brakes. Here are a few signs that your brakes need to be repaired:
Your brakes should stop your car without invoking loud screeching sounds. Screeches and grinding noises can indicate that your brake pads have worn away beyond an acceptable level.
As you depress your brake pedal, the brake fluid of your vehicle transfers stopping pressure to your brake pads. The pads, in turn, tighten around the rotor of the wheels to stop your vehicle.
The brake pads are made of a thick padding material affixed to a metal plate. If the brake pads wear away enough, the metal of the pads will scrub against the metal rotors to produce loud, high-pitched sounds. In addition, the elevated friction between the rotors and the metal of the brake pads can produce a grinding noise.
The Brake Light is On
There is usually a brake fluid indicator light on the dashboard panel of a car. If this light remains lit, it usually indicates that your brake fluid level is too low. This can be due to a leak in your line. Since the brake fluid is responsible for transferring the braking pressure from your brake pedal to your brake pads, it is imperative that a sufficient amount of brake fluid remains in place. Without it, there may not be enough braking force to stop your vehicle.
Squishy Brake Pedal
The firmness of your brake pedal is caused by the pressure from the brake fluid in the brake line of your car. If the level of fluid has diminished, the brake pedal may feel soft or squishy as you press it. Instead of stopping well above the floorboard of your car when the pedal is depressed, it may easily touch the floorboard and still not stop the car quickly. This inefficiency in braking can increase the likelihood of an accident.
Old Brake Fluid
Brake fluid that is not changed for years at a time can become contaminated with moisture. Since the boiling point of brake fluid is much higher than that of water, moisture contamination can cause the brake fluid to become a gas at lower-than-normal temperatures. This is problematic because brake fluid can only transfer braking pressure when it is in a liquid state.
If you are concerned that your brakes are not operating at an optimal level or have not been serviced regularly, schedule an appointment with a mechanic shop like Elkhart Auto Center.