A vehicle is one of the biggest purchases people make. When deciding which car to buy, you may pour over reviews online, make trips to multiple dealerships for test drives, negotiate for hours for the best price and maybe even pay extra for an extended warranty.
Ironically, many auto owners neglect and consider their brakes relatively maintenance free — at least until something goes wrong. Don't make the mistake of waiting too long to give them the attention they deserve. To help, here are three signs that could indicate you need new brakes.
You hear screeching, grinding, ticking, squealing or clicking
You've likely heard it before — that loud squeal or grinding out sound from the car in the next lane, and what do you say? "Wow, they need to replace their brakes!" You're right, the sound does, in fact, indicate that replacing the brakes is necessary.
The sound is caused by wear indicators on the brake pad that begin to rub on the brake disc to alert the driver the brake pads are nearly worn out, and replacement is required soon. Be wary of going too long without replacement once you start hearing the sound. Once the pad is completely worn, you risk scoring or heavily scratching your rotors, which will often require an expensive replacement.
That's not to mention that driving without brake pads is dangerous.
The brake pedal vibrates when pressed
Brake pads are simple yet durable inventions. Most are held together by a strong type of resin. Over time, as the pad breaks down, the resin is distributed over the rotor. Most of the time it is distributed evenly, and you would never know this is occurring.
However, sometimes when the brakes get overheated, the resin can be smeared on the rotor unevenly, causing your brake pedal to shake violently when pressed on, and eventually warping the rotors if not attended to timely.
If you experience shaking in your brake pedal have your brake pads and rotors checked out right away before any additional damage is done.
Your car pulls to one side when braking
Brake pads don't often wear out at the same time. When one side begins to wear out faster than the others, it can cause pulling to the side when you brake. When this occurs it can put a huge amount of stress on a number of other important components of your car — like the steering rack, ball joints, wheel bearings and steering knuckles.
Another possible culprit could be attributed to low or contaminated brake fluid. Because the pulling to one side might not always be the brake pad's or fluid's fault, and potential damage could happen to other parts of your car, it is strongly recommended you get this issue looked at as soon as possible.
Does your vehicle have some of these problems, but you're not sure where to get your brakes looked at? Jensen Tire & Auto has been in business since 1973 and knows brakes better than anyone.