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Auto Mechanics | Diagnose | Signs You Need a Brake Repair
WARNING YOUR BRAKES NEED REPAIR
Our local mechanics discuss some signs you need your brakes repaired
Updated: October 6, 2021
By: Local Mechanics
Related: Brake Repair
Brake Repair Warning Signs
There are two primary signs that suggest your brakes need repair:
1. strange brake noise and;
2. your brake pedal feels off.
For drivers everywhere, brake repair is one of those standard up keeps that should never be delayed. Brakes require servicing, replacement or repair at regular intervals to function properly.
Luckily, your vehicle will display some unmistakable signs that you should inspect your brakes. These signs could mean a brake pad replacement, brake caliper service, brake disc replacement or resurfacing or brake leak repair.
In the event you notice any of the following signs you need a brake repair, bring it in to the garage for immediate attention and inspection as top priority.
BRAKE PROBLEM? SCHEDULE A BRAKE INSPECTION TODAY!
6 Signs of Brake Repair
Notice any of the following signs of brake repair.
1. Dashboard Brake Light
Is your dashboard brake light on? In late model vehicles it is standard for a brake light indicator to appear when your vehicles computer discovers any issue around your braking system. This could be a minor or major issue. If your brake light appears, this is a clear sign you need a brake repair. It could simply be you've driven a specified amount of kilometers and an inspection is due. It could also mean a faulty part in your brakes needs an urgent repair. In either case, this warning sign is exactly that. Take heed and schedule a brake inspection to determine the extent of the problem.
If your parking brake has not been released, this may cause the light to appear. Double check to ensure your parking brake is disengaged. If not, and the light disappears, that was more than likely the problem.
2. Brake Squealing, Screeching or Grinding Sound
The sound of metal against metal is a strong warning sign your brakes need repair. Brake pads have a metal warning indicator attached to one of your brake pads on each side of the vehicle.
When your brake pads have worn beyond a certain point, this metal safeguard is rubbing against the disc as you drive and may be causing the brake squeal. When you apply the brake pedal the squeal may stop. The further worn your pads become, the more prominent the sound heard while driving.
A screeching or grinding sound from your brakes may mean your brake pad material is completely worn and you are braking with metal to metal. This can be serious. It could be causing irreparable damage to your brake discs and should be looked at immediately.
3. Grinding Sound When Brakes Are Applied
A grinding sound when you brake is a clear sign for repair. You are probably metal to metal and damaging your brake discs. If you feel the grinding in the brake pedal, it's more than likely the case. In either situation, it should not be ignored. It's also possible that debris has made its way into your brake caliper, pads and disc interrupting your braking system.
Should you have reached a point of metal to metal friction, your brake rotors will likely need to be replaced.
If a grinding sound is coming from the rear brakes and the vehicle is equipped with a drum system, your brake shoes friction against the interior metal of the brake drum can be causing the grind.
If any of these noises are heard or felt, don't delay. Bring your vehicle in to our locations for a full inspection of your front and rear brakes.
4. Wobble, Pulsating or Vibration When Braking
If you apply the brakes and your brake pedal vibrates, shakes or pulsates, schedule a service. This may be a sign of brake discs uneven and need resurfacing or replacement. Your brake rotors are the disc that your brake pads compress to slow your vehicle to a stop. Your brake caliper is responsible for applying this pressure to the pads. For accurate braking response and power, you want your discs smooth, even with proper thickness on all sides of your vehicle.
Your rotors are spinning countless revolutions. This is normal and usually a resurfacing of your discs will do the the fix. Rust may also come into play in this scenario. As a part of our standard brake service, resurfacing is completed for the best braking power and friction.
As every vehicle has specifications for brake disc thickness, even a slight degree off may cause a wobble, vibration or pulsating brake pedal. Brake pad material might also get stuck on your disc which will cause a shake when braking.
Should the calipers not release pressure normally, you may also experience a shake or rough experience when trying to stop you car. Your brake caliper has a piston which applies pressure when you step on the brakes and releases that pressure when you take your foot off the pedal. If this piston becomes seized, a brake caliper service should be performed.
Another possibility of shaky braking is your actual wheel. When a wheel is removed from your vehicle, the installation should be appropriately installed. This means each lug nut (the nuts that hold your wheel on the car) should be installed in the right order, evenly, and torqued according to spec.
In any event, with pulsating or vibration when braking is a sign of brake repair.
5. Leaking Brake Fluid
A soft or low brake pedal could potentially be a sign of a brake fluid leak repair. This leak can be from several places including a line at the front or rear of the vehicle, a hose, or a master cylinder. Have it checked to determine a leak. The master cylinder is the main unit producing power for your braking system. This is where you will find your brake fluid reservoir which holds the brake fluid.
Once you step on the brake pedal, fluid is pushed through lines and hoses throughout the system. This creates the hydraulic pressure to stop your car. If fluid is leaking then power is lacking. And this is something you don't want. Schedule a brake repair inspection and head in to our mechanic shop if your brake pedal is feeling spongy, soft or sinks to the floor.
6. Spongy or Soft Brake Pedal
A spongy brake pedal is a sign of immediate repair. This could mean there is air trapped in the system, and a potential leak. This could also be a master cylinder problem. Being familiar with your car, truck or SUV, you will notice the difference in your brake pedal. If your pedal sinks to the floor, this is also a serious issue. If you are experiencing a low brake pedal, stiff pedal, or spongy pedal, its time to have your brakes inspected.
Brake Repair Signs Summary
Your vehicle will experience certain symptoms if your brakes need repair. If you hear brake screeching, squeaking, squealing or grinding, these are clear indications to have your brakes inspected. If your pedal vibrates, pulsates, goes to the floor or feels hard and spongy, you should immediately have your brakes checked.
Self inspection or failing to service your brakes in time can not only put you and other passengers at risk. But it can also become a more costly fix if not repaired at when you experience the warning signs.
We've created a DIY auto inspection for your car. In that post, we mentioned a brake inspection (at your home or driveway) at regular intervals, perhaps monthly. This is a visual inspection you can perform without taking your vehicle to the garage - especially if intending a road trip. The last thing you want is an issue with your brakes while you are far from home.
If you experience any of the signs you need a brake repair, let us help at one of our locations near you.
Brake Repair Signs - FAQ's
+ Do You Provide Free Brake Repair Estimates?
Yes we do! We've made it as simple as possible to get a brake repair quote here. We will alert you by email with a free estimate.
Alternatively, schedule your brake service online and we will confirm our availability with you by email.
+ Are Brake Parts & Service Under Warranty?
Our brake repair ensures we keep your vehicles warranty in check.
You always have the option to request OEM (original equipment manufacturer) brakes to fit on your vehicle.
If you decide to use aftermarket brake parts for your vehicle we will advise you at that time if it interferes with your warranty.
+ Do You Explain The Brake Repair Process?
Yes we do! Bringing your vehicle to our auto repair shop undergoes a brake inspection for the required service. Once we determine the extent of the repair, we will explain in detail what the problem is and the fix we recommend to get you back on the road safely.
We provide a breakdown of all parts and labor costs so you know exactly what to expect with your brake repair.
+ Do You Return My Old Brake Parts?
Generally, we scrap/discard old parts. However, we do keep any parts that have been replaced to present to you upon completion of the repair. You can always request your old parts at the time of repair.
Our auto repair shop aims to provide the highest quality brake service at the most affordable price. We can meet the requirements of all our clients no matter the problem your vehicle is experiencing.
Select us as your local mechanic for all your auto repair and service needs.
In addition to fixing your car, truck or SUV, we will offer useful preventative maintenance tips to keep your vehicle in safe operating condition, saving you time and money over the long term.
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All The Best & Safe Driving!
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