3 Common Signs of Brake distress

It is pretty easy to overlook the importance of a healthy braking system in your car.  Sure, you might, in the back of your mind, know that stopping power is necessary in a machine that moves so quickly, but brakes often take a back seat, so to speak. This is particularly easy to overlook since brake maintenance is not as pressing as oil and fuel, for example.  After all, you may only need to check your Cross drilled rotors brake pads every 12 to 18 months.

But even if you have checked your brake pads recently, anomalies and irregular wear can also mean premature brake pad replacement. If you are between your regularly schedule maintenance, then, here are a few signs of brake distress that will inform you it might be time to make an emergency visit to your mechanic.

BRAKE DISTRESS SIGNAL #1:  Screeching and Grinding

This is actually two different things.  Brake pads have a sensor that make a distinct screeching, squealing sound. This is supposed to tell you that the brake pads are worn and need replacing.  Do this in a timely fashion because that squealing will eventually turn into a grinding. If you hear the grinding that means your brake pads are completely worn and you may actually be damaging your brake rotors or calipers (or both); and that means a far more costly repair.

BRAKE DISTRESS SIGNAL #2:  The Car Pulls To One Sie

There are many reasons, actually, why your car might pull to one side.  Regardless of the reason, you should have a mechanic perform a systematic check to determine the fix.  It might be a simple tire balance and alignment issue but it could also be a misaligned caliper or a collapsed brake hose.  These are easy fixes that, again, will lead to more complicated problems if you do not address them early.

 BRAKE DISTRESS SIGNAL #3:  Vibration in the Brake Pedal

If you have anti-lock brakes, this signal is a little harder to detect. However, if you do feel vibration in the steering wheel and/or especially in the brake pedal (when braking, of course) take your car to the shop immediately: it might be a damaged rotor. If you sustain any more damage, your brakes could go out completely.