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5 Signs Your Brakes are on the Fritz

When it comes to brakes, you shouldn’t take any risks. There are few things more dangerous when it comes to driving than your brakes going out. If you see any of these warning signs that your brakes may need some attention, take your car. Don’t risk it! Having reliable brakes is extremely important for your own safety and the safety of those around you.

1. Brake Light 

If your brake light comes on, that is a sure sign that something is wrong. Your dashboard light is a good indicator, you should take your car in. A dashboard light could just mean that your parking brake is on. But once you check that, if your light is still on, have it checked out.

2. Squeaking or Grinding Noises

Brakes that are making noises are never a good thing. If you’re hearing a high pitched squeal, you probably need new brake pads. Brakes are made of steel and when the pads wear down, the metal will grind against metal, making a high-pitched noise. Grinding may indicate the need for lubrication, possibly needing new pads, fluid, or ever brakes. Waiting to replace brake pads could wear down your brakes and lead to a much more costly repair.

3. Leaking Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is essential to a car. If you notice any fluid leaking from your car, something is up. Without enough brake fluid, there may not be enough power to force the brake pads to clamp hard enough on the rotors, making braking difficult. Don’t risk it, fix it. 

4. Burning Smell

If you’re smelling a burning odor after some hard braking, it may be a sign of overheated brakes or clutch. Your brake fluid may be heating up if it reaches boiling it can cause brake failure. Pull over, and let your car cool. If smoke is coming from a wheel of the car, it’s not safe to continue driving. Take your car in for a quick check if you have any concern. 

5. Soft Brake Pedal

Noticing a difference in the resistance of your brake pedal is a good indicator that something is up. A soft brake pedal or a pedal falling all the way to the floor, you need immediate service. There could be air trapped in your braking system, which will lead to performance problems. The pedal should stop one to three inches from the floor for automatic brakes and about three inches from the floor for manual brakes.

It’s natural for brakes to wear down over time. Brake pads will need regular replacement. Brake fluid will need to be refilled. It’s all part of taking care of your car. Dust, air, or moisture can get trapped in the braking system and lead to problems. If you notice any of these signs, don’t delay brake service. Ignoring warning signs of bad brakes is not only extremely dangerous, but it can lead to a need for new brakes entirely, which is a much more costly repair.

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