5 Major Signs That You Need Brake Service
Wednesday Feb 05th, 2020Share
When you’re cruising everyday across Collin County roads and highways, it’s easy to forget that you’re in a massive chunk of steel and glass hurtling at 60-plus miles per hour. If you suddenly need to stop at that speed, our brakes are put to the test! You deserve the peace of mind to know that your braes will pass with flying colors!
Brake servicing is one of many routine maintenance chores you simply cannot ignore. Unlike other auto maintenance requirements, a failing brake can genuinely be the difference between life and death. Your vehicle’s brakes have a natural life span, so it’s important you have your ears (and eyes) on them periodically to quickly identify signs of wear-and-tear, and get them serviced by the professionals.
How do vehicle brake pads actually work?
Components: The brake system is an intricate system composed of brake pads and calipers or shoes, rotors or drums, hoses and lines, brake fluid and a control unit.
Function: The brake pads are housed inside the calipers. The rotors are found behind the wheel of your vehicle. Attached to the rotors are the calipers. The calipers begin to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors when you hit your brake pedal. This action produces friction, which causes the wheels to spin more slowly until they come to a complete stop. Most vehicles on the road today utilize pad and calipers on all wheels. Some vehicles, however, still use drum brakes on the rear wheels.
The brake pads are those removable components that take all the beating when you’re hitting those brakes. The daily use inevitably causes the pads to wear down and thin over time. If your pads get too thin, your brakes begin to struggle leading to other issues.
The 5 major warning signs indicating the need for brake service
1. You hear a squealing noise when NOT hitting the brakes.
Today, most brake pads are manufactured with built-in indicators that are meant to squeal when the brake pads are low. Located near the top of your brake pads are simple metal tabs that scrape against your rotor if your pads are too thin. If you’re driving and hear a squealing, buzzing or scraping sound but the sound stops specifically when you apply your brakes – it’s time to get your pads checked out!
2. You hear a clicking noise.
As we mentioned before, the brake pads are housed in the calipers. The pads are secured in the caliper by pins or shims to the caliper seat. Should the pads become loose due to defect or improper installation, they will begin to jump and create a clicking noise. The calipers can also create a clicking sound that will resonate from the problem wheel. This will occur if the caliper is loose or the caliper hardware is damaged.
3. Bringing the car to a stop takes more time than it used to.
This symptom has a name. It’s called brake fade. The most common type of brake fade occurs when the brake pads reach excessively high temperatures. When your brake pads make long-term contact with your rotors, they heat up and their ability to produce friction lessens. The result – you find your vehicle takes longer to stop. Other sources of brake fade can stem from the calipers overheating or from new brake pads not being properly set. Additionally, the overheating of the brake pads can lead to glazing – or the hardening of the brake pad material which then transfers to the rotor.
4. The nose of your car pulls to one side when you brake.
Often when a vehicle pulls, an assumption is made that the vehicle needs an alignment, which may be true. However, if your vehicle pulls to one sidewhen you brake, the most common culprit is a stuck caliper. This causes brake pads to wear unevenly. If left unserviced, your steering rack, ball joints, steering knuckles, to name a few components, can become stressed and cause further damage. It’s important to note that this particular symptom may stem from other issues.
5. The brake pedal vibrates when pressed.
It goes without saying that if you apply your brakes and feel it vibrating, something is surely up! Eventually over time, both pads and rotors wear thin. Excessive hard braking or sudden braking at high speeds causes the rotors to warp. So during normal braking, the pads are pressing against the uneven surface of the rotors causing the brake pedal to vibrate. The rotors may need to be resurfaced or replaced altogether. Another option to consider is extremely contaminated (such as from mudding) or cracked/chipped brake pads..