Did you know that faulty brakes account for around 22% of all car accidents in the United States?
Some of the most common causes of brake-related accidents include:
- Worn or faulty brake lines
- Antilock Brake System malfunction
- Worn-out brake pads and discs
To help you avoid these common occurrences, here are five warning signs of brake problems!
5 Warning Signs Of Brake Problems
From warning lights to grinding sounds, here are five of the most common signs you’re experiencing brake problems.
1. Brake Light Is On
It’s not uncommon to ignore warning lights when they show up on your dashboard. This can be especially true if they stay on for a while or turn on and off without warning.
Ignore the brake warning light at your peril, however. It’s trying to tell you something for a reason.
2. Metal-On-Metal Sound
Brake pads are constructed of a variety of soft materials to act as a barrier between the disc brake and backing plate.
Brake pads can be made of:
- Non-metallic materials
- Semi-metallic materials
- Fully metallic materials
Whatever your brake pads are made out of, they will be softer than the hard steel of the disc brake and backing plate.
If you hear some sort of grinding or squealing sound when you press the brakes, it’s a sign your brake pads need to be changed. Neglecting to change your brake pads in a timely fashion can result in warped rotors, which can be drastically more expensive to repair.
3. Wobbly Wheels
If your steering wheel starts to shake when you apply the brakes, it could be a sign of a warped rotor.
Brake rotors are big disks on the inside of the wheel. The brake pads hug the rotors to slow the tires. Your rotors need to be uniformly smooth and even in thickness to function properly.
Your rotors will wear down over time, with thousands upon thousands of usages. If you can feel your wheels shaking, remember to check your rotors!
4. Leaking Brake Fluid
Keep a look out for puddles of brake fluid beneath your car. A soft brake pedal can also be a sign of a leak in your brake line.
If you need to press your brake almost to the ground to fully stop, consult a brake technician and have them check for leaks in your brake line!
5. Burning Smell
A burning smell is never a good sign when it’s coming from your car. If you smell some sort of chemical odor, this could be a sign of overheating brakes or clutch.
If you smell burning when you brake, pull over immediately and allow your brakes to cool off. Otherwise, you run the risk of boiling your brake fluid. This could cause complete brake failure, which can be incredibly dangerous!
These are five of the most common signs of brake problems. This list is not completely exhaustive, as there are many moving parts of your car’s brake system.
Experiencing Brake Problems?
If you’re looking for a service manual for a particular make or model of automobile, you can check our online factory service manuals, as well!