A frequent piece of advice that we here at AutoFix dispense frequently is never take your brakes for granted. They are crucial to your vehicle’s safety, and we never want you to experience the fear of losing them while driving. Do you need a brake inspection? If you haven’t had one in a while then, yes, you do. You also need a brake inspection if you notice anything listed below.
Changes in Stopping Distance
If you’ve found that it takes you longer to stop your car, truck or SUV, you might have some brake trouble brewing behind the wheels. You get used to the stopping distance required for your vehicle and that shouldn’t change, but sometimes it does if your automobile has “brake fade.” Brake fade happens when the pads and rotors get too hot. They’ll need to be replaced if you feel brake fade all the time.
Soft or Hard Pedal
As with braking distance, you also get used to the brake pedal’s feel. If it feels soft or squishy, you might have air in your brake lines or caliper or wheel cylinder trouble. If your brake pedal feels harder than normal, it could be your power-assist mechanism or a problem between the pedal and master cylinder. Problems include an object obstructing pedal-to-master-cylinder function or a broken connecting rod.
You shouldn’t feel anything when you brake unless you have to stop suddenly. If your vehicle vibrates or pulls to one side, however, it’s time for a brake inspection. When it comes to a problem with the brake system, drivers usually feel vibration in the steering wheel or brake pedal. Vibrations generally indicate hot spots where a portion of the brakes are overheated. Pulling to one side means caliper trouble.
Brake Noise or Smell
Finally, this one is obvious but it bears repeating. You should not hear strange noises or take in a burning smell when you apply the brakes on your car, truck or SUV. If you hear a grinding sound, you probably need new brake pads. The brake pads are generally culprit if you hear constant squealing, too. If you smell burning, your brakes are overheating and could fail, so get a brake inspection right away.
Basically, if anything seems strange when you brake or your brake system warning light comes on while you’re driving or braking, it’s time to schedule a brake inspection. You can do so with AutoFix by calling 615-656-4962. We happily serve customers in Franklin, TN, and have since 1999.