4 Signs That Your Brakes Need To Be Serviced

Posted on: 3 January 2022

Your vehicle's brakes are something that will gradually wear down on their own and need replacement. However, you may be wondering what the signs are for brake repair. Look out for these indications that your vehicle needs to be serviced. 

Squealing And Grinding Noises

Do you notice an odd squealing noise when you put pressure on the brake pedal? This is actually a part of the braking system's design. There is a small piece of metal in the brake pad that intentionally becomes exposed when the brake pad is worn down enough. Since you can't put a dashboard sensor on the brake pads to read the thickness of them, the metal-on-metal squealing sound is the indication that the brake pads are worn down and need replacement. 

If you do not replace the brake pads when you hear a high-pitched squeal, you'll eventually hear loud grinding. This is happening from the metal rotor rubbing against the metal plate behind the brake pad, and it is likely causing damage that will lead to an expensive repair. Avoid this by having the brake pads inspected after you hear the high-pitched squealing sound. 

Brake Pedal Problems

If the rotor continues to rub against the brake pads, it can cause the rotor to become warped over time. This will eventually lead to the brake pedal vibration when you apply pressure to the brakes. Rotors can also warp due to old age and the metal deteriorating from use. The brake pedal may also feel spongy, with the pedal going all the way down to the floor. This can be due to a problem with the hydraulic system, low brake fluid, or thin brake pads. 

Visual Wear

Able to take off your tires and look at the brake pads? You can actually check the visible wear of the brake pads to see if they are still in good condition. New brake pads are about ½ inch thick, and they should be replaced when they are at about ¼ inch thickness. While you can keep driving your car with brake pads that are ¼ inch thick, they should definitely be replaced by the time they are ⅛ inch thick. 

Fluid Leaks

Do you see a small puddle of fluid underneath the car? This could be brake fluid, which is normally a clear color that has a slight tint of yellow when it is new. That fluid can become dirty over time though and start to resemble oil and cause some confusion. Consider having the vehicle inspected anytime you have a fluid leak to know exactly what it is. 

Contact a local auto service to learn more about car brake repairs.