Your Braking System’s Warning Signs
When you’re in a hurry, it’s tempting to focus only on your ability to GO. However, you’re risking your life (and that of others) if you ignore your ability to STOP. According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, 22% of the crashes caused by mechanical problems can be attributed to brake failure. Worn braking system components are among the leading causes of said failure. Therefore, it’s important that you pay attention to the condition of your brakes. If they’re presenting the signs of wear, let the certified technicians at Titan Auto & Tire in Moseley, Virginia, take care of them before they become a danger to you, your passengers, and others on the road.
Warning Signs that Your Vehicle Needs Brake Repair
Although there are exceptions to nearly every rule, your brakes will usually provide some warning signs before they give out. For example, your auto may need new brake pads if you hear grinding, squealing, or squeaking when you try to stop. The sounds are audible when worn pads allow metal parts to rub against each other. A brake fluid leak should also get your attention. This, as well as a spongy, “soft” pedal may point toward a bad master cylinder. With a hydraulic system, your car holds brake fluid in this reservoir and sends it out through the brake hoses to apply force when you press the pedal.
If the master cylinder is cracked or damaged, brake fluid can escape, reducing or eliminating your car’s ability to stop. When the pedal is “soft,” it goes further toward the floor than expected when you press it. In actuality, it should stop one to one and a half inches from the floor if your vehicle has power brakes. If it’s a manual braking auto, the pedal should stop at least 3 inches from the floor.
Also, never ignore an illuminated brake light on your dashboard panel. Perhaps you need routine maintenance, but it could also indicate the need for repair. In addition, if your vehicle vibrates, wobbles, or seems to be scraping something when you brake, you may have a rotor problem. The rotor is a large disc near the wheel. The brake pad, held by a caliper, contacts the rotor, causing friction and stopping the car when you press the pedal. Uneven, worn rotors decrease contact and increase stopping distance. The rotors should be evenly thick and smooth. A burning smell may point to a stuck caliper or engaged emergency brake, while pulling to one side might mean a caliper or brake line problem.
Follow the Signs for Help
If you’re observing signs of brake trouble, follow our sign to Titan Auto & Tire today.