Bad Brakes: 3 Warning Signs

Posted on: 13 July 2017

The brake system performs the vital task of controlling the speed of your car, allowing you to slow down before corners and to stop at traffic lights. Any problem with the brakes can place your safety and wellbeing at risk and could potentially prove fatal. There are a number of warning indicators that your brakes need attention. While it might be tempting to ignore these warning signs, you should not. Remember, the brakes on your car will not fix themselves. Below is a guide to three signs you need to have your brakes serviced or repaired.

The brakes will not release

If you release the handbrake or the take your foot off the brake pedal and the brakes on your vehicle will not release, this is a sign that there is an issue with the callipers. A calliper is a small clip which pushes the brake pad up against the tyre. If the callipers have failed, they may not release the pads when the handbrake of brake pedal are released. Sticky callipers can increase wear and tear on the engine in your car as it will have to work hard to overcome the resistance placed on the wheels by the stuck callipers. Stuck callipers can also make it difficult to control your car. If you notice that the brakes on your vehicle are not fully releasing, you should take it to an auto repair shop.

The brakes work intermittently

When driving along, you may notice that sometimes your brakes seem spongy and ineffective. The leading cause of this problem is air in the brake lines. Your brake lines contain brake fluid. When you push your foot down on the brake peddle, this fluid is compressed and carries and magnifies the force which is discharged into the callipers. However, if air has entered this brake system, it can disrupt this process, causing your brakes to only work on an intermittent basis. If you notice that your car has developed this problem, you should ask a mechanic to bleed the lines for you. The mechanic will drain the brake fluid out of the line and then refill it to force out any trapped air.

The brakes are making strange noises

If you hear strange noises coming from the brakes on your car, you need to take immediate action. A grinding or squealing sound suggests that the brake pads are worn down and are now scraping across the surface of the wheel rotors. A faulty brake pad means you will not be able to slow and stop your car as you normally would. If you hear a strange sound coming from your brakes, you should have the pads inspected at an auto repair shop.