What Are the Warning Signs of Failing Brakes?

Two auto mechanics work on the brakes of a vehilceBrake Warning Light

Modern vehicles are pretty smart, and they can identify when something isn’t working right and send you an alert, right on your dash. If your brake warning light or ABS warning light pops on, that’s not something you should ignore. Take your vehicle to a service center as soon as possible, and let them know something may be up with your brake system.

Noisy Brakes

When you push the brake pedal, do you hear a squealing, screeching, or grinding noise? That’s a strong indication that there’s too much wear on your brake pads. The good news is, this most likely just means you need to replace your brake pads. But, be aware that grinding is more serious, and could indicate you’re doing actual damage to your vehicle.

Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaking under your vehicle could be an indication that your brake system is in need of repair. Brake fluid is generally light yellow or brown, and leaves a slippery residue when touched, and would puddle near your brake lines or master cylinder under the centre of the car. Fluid issues can slow your stopping power, and should be looked at as soon as possible.

Soft Brakes

Your brakes should push back at you when you hit the pedal. If it feels soft, or easily pushes to the floor, there could be an issue with the master cylinder. This is a critical part of the braking system, and may prevent you from braking at all when you need to. If you experience soft or spongy brakes, you should get to a service center immediately.

Pulling to One Side

When you hit the brakes, the pressure should be applied evenly to every wheel and the vehicle should come to a stable stop. If you start to pull to one side when you hit the brakes, that could indicate something is uneven and needs an adjustment. It could also indicate a blockage issue with your brake fluid. Either way, you should get it attended to as soon as you can.

Burning Smell

If you hit the brakes and you’re struck by a sudden chemical odour, or you see smoke, you might be overheating your brakes, and that could result in a system failure. You should pull over immediately and let your brakes cool. Once it’s safe to drive again, you should take the vehicle in for an inspection.

Vehicle Vibration

Is the steering wheel or vehicle vibrating when you hit the brakes? That’s a sign there may be an issue with your brake rotors. When they wear down and become uneven, that can cause that vibration you feel. Left unattended it can get worse, so once noticed it’s best to take your vehicle in for an inspection.

A vehicle that can’t stop is a danger not just to you, but to everyone else on the road. So, if you suspect there may be an issue with your brake system, don’t wait! Book a service appointment, today, with our incredible service team here at Hinton Dodge Chrysler, and we’ll get you safely back on the road in no time.