Don't Take Chances with Worn or Faulty Brakes. : Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair Official Blog

Don't Take Chances with Worn or Faulty Brakes.

by Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair on 07/01/13

The only safety features on your vehicle that are as important as seat belts are your brakes. Like safety belts, you need to know they'll work BEFORE you need them. Too many people try to avoid brake repair because of the cost. However, considering the consequences of what could happen to you or your loved ones if your brakes fail, it's well worth the expense.

If you suspect it's time for your brakes to be inspected, our trained mechanics can give you peace of mind by performing a thorough inspection. If repairs are necessary, you'll have the confidence of knowing that your car, and more importantly, your safety has continued to be a top priority that you have taken control of. That's really what's important.

However, in addition to expert service and repair, we offer competitive pricing to help you get the most for your money. And, never worry--we won't suggest repairs if there is plenty of "life" left on the brakes.  In fact, we usually check your brake life every time we get your car in here for any service. 

While you're out driving around, here are some warning signs about your brakes that you should note. If you experience any one of these conditions, you should bring your car in for a brake inspection right away.

By the way, we found this great list at: http://autos.jdpower.com/content/consumer-interest/4HVBIsJ/warning-signs-you-need-new-brakes.htm

The main set of tips refers to Looking at your brakes (if you know how) and Listening to them when you brake.

If you look at your brakes and see less than 1/4 inch of pad, you may want to have your brake pads inspected or replaced.

Have you ever heard a high-pitched screeching sound when you applied your brakes? That's a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. If you hear it regularly, quickly make an appointment with your mechanic.

Here are some of the other signs you should look out for:

Reduced responsiveness or fading. If your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal "sinks" toward the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak.

Pulling. If your vehicle "pulls" to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.

Grinding or growling. This loud metallic sound means that you have worn down the pads completely, most likely beyond replacement. The grinding or growling noise is caused by the two pieces of metal (the disc and the caliper) rubbing together. This can "score," or scratch your rotors, creating an uneven surface. If this happens, do not be surprised if your mechanic tells you that the rotors need to be "turned" (a process that evens out the rotor surface), or even replaced.

Vibration. A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors (but can also indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes.

Comments (1)

1. Lillian Schaeffer said on 10/27/16 - 10:02AM
This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that grinding sounds are a sign your brake pads are completely worn. I usually drive with music playing, so I don't notice all the sounds I probably should, but I was driving without the radio yesterday, and I noticed my brakes making a grinding sound. I'll definitely take my car in to have those looked at and repaired or replaced as needed. Thanks for the great post! http://sweeneysservicecenter.com/full-service/


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