Keeping your brakes in good condition is critical. What may start as a simple problem could gradually become worse, eventually resulting in widespread mechanical problems. This is why it helps to understand some of the warning signs that may necessitate brake repairs. Acting early allows you to fix issues before they become worse, and better yet, you'll remain safer while on the road.
1. A jerking/stuttering motion while braking
Do you feel as if your vehicle is stuttering back and forth when you press the brakes? This may occur as you approach a red light or if you need to brake suddenly behind another vehicle. The jerking/stuttering motion is caused by uneven brake rotors. When the brake pads come in contact with your rotors, the uneven surface results in a stuttering motion that you may also feel via your steering wheel.
Motorists who experience this issue should take their vehicle for a rotor inspection. You may need to replace your worn-out rotors or uneven brake drums. If left unattended, your braking efficiency could reduce and affect the safety of others while on the road.
2. Brake light illuminating
Another common braking issue is the brake light of your vehicle turning on. An illuminated brake light could be indicative of many different problems. For example, you may have low/leaking brake fluid, worn-out brake pads, overheating, or a faulty sensor. Because the range of issues that cause brake light illumination are many, you should have your vehicle brakes inspected whenever the light comes on.
3. A whistling/grinding noise while braking
Your brakes are made of many different moving parts that work in unison to control the movement of your vehicle. These parts need adequate lubrication (via the brake fluid) to prevent friction or wear and tear. If you hear a whistling or grinding noise while braking, you may have worn-out components in your brake system. More specifically, the brake pads may be worn-out and the brakes themselves may be grinding against your rotors. This grinding could further damage your brake disc and rotor assembly, which is why timely repairs are critical.
4. Overheated brake pads
Overheated brakes are another common yet widely unknown issue. Did you know that your brake pads could become so hot that they end up being deformed or worn-out? Furthermore, the heat could affect contact between your pads and rotors, thus affecting braking efficiency. The good news is that you can fix this problem by simply allowing your brakes to cool after a long drive or by having the braking assembly inspected for physical deformities.
To learn more, contact a mechanic.