The brakes on your car are probably its most important safety feature. Sure, an engine failing or an exhaust falling off while driving is dangerous – but if you can’t stop, the likelihood of hitting something is increased by a significant margin. However, given the sheer danger of driving a vehicle with failing brakes, it’s surprising how few drivers are able to recognise the signs. So, we thought it was about time to explore some of the factors that might be pointing to your vehicle having brake issues – read on to find out more.
One of the most common signs of failing brakes is actually easy to feel when you are driving – you just need to know what to watch out for. If the brake pedal vibrates or pulsates when you put your foot down, there is likely to be trouble ahead. These vibrations tend to be a sign that your brake pads are wearing thin or warping under the intense heat that constant braking can cause.
Failure to service
As a rough guideline, your brake pads need to be replaced every 50,000 miles or so – but this figure is only relevant if you drive the car in the way the manufacturer intended. The truth is this number could be as low as 25,000 miles, or possibly even less. However, putting your car into your local auto mechanic for a safety service will ensure that you never have to worry about it – they will do all the checks you need.
Are you checking your brake pads regularly? It’s a car maintenance task that is easy to do, yet few people are aware of how to do it. If you look through the spokes of your car wheel (take your hubcaps off if necessary) you will be able to see your brake pads, which should be over a ¼ “ thick – any thinner and you have some pads that will need to be replaced.
How well do you know the sound of your car? Most people are aware of how their vehicle sounds, even if it is only at a subconscious level. And if you do start hearing screechy or clicking noises while applying your brakes, it’s time to sit up and take notice. When your brakes click, it means you need new pads. Manufacturers tend to install a device that stops your pads rattling when they are in good working order, and if you do hear clicks or rattles, it is a sure sign your pads are wearing thin. Your brakes can also grind or screech – both are such unpleasant sounds that are hard to ignore- and you will do so at your own peril.
Is your car pulling in a particular direction when you are braking? It could be for several different reasons – including your brakes starting to fail. Again, make sure that you bring in your car for a professional check, as it can be incredibly dangerous. Uneven brake pad wear can increase the likelihood of an accident occurring, so it is critical that you take action sooner rather than later.
** This is a collaborative post