We here at Eddie’s Auto Service are not trying to sound like your mother, but the title of this blog post is true: If you ignore brake problems, you open yourself up to the possibility of getting into an automobile accident. We don’t want to see that happen. It is recommended that the brake system be serviced every 30,000 miles. You should have your brake system inspected every 12,000 miles or if you notice any of the following signs beforehand.
Brake Warning Light
Your brake light comes on when you set the parking brake and that should be the only time that it comes on. If it comes on while you are driving, especially when you use the brakes, it’s telling you that there’s a problem with the brake system. The same is true with the ABS light.
If you notice hot odors coming from behind your wheels, such as burning chemicals or carpet, this is a sign that your brake system is overheating. This opens you up to the very dangerous situation of being unable to stop your automobile. Pull over and call for a tow truck.
Brake fluid is light brown or red when it is brand new and it turns dark brown as it ages. If you see spots of this color on your garage floor behind the wheel, your vehicle is leaking brake fluid. It’s important to get this leak fixed, as you cannot stop your automobile without brake fluid.
Pulling to the Side
If your vehicle pulls to the side while you are driving, your wheel alignment is off. If your vehicle pulls to the side while you brake, you likely have a stuck caliper or a warped rotor.
Soft Brake Pedal
How your brake pedal feels underneath your foot should never change. It should always give you the same resistance and stop about 1 1/2 inches from the floorboard. If the brake pedal feels soft or squishy, you have air in the brake lines or your master cylinder is going bad.
Braking should be smooth. Your vehicle shouldn’t vibrate when you apply the brakes. If it does, you may have a rock stuck in one of the calipers or, again, your rotors may be warped and need to be resurfaced.
Finally, braking should also be silent. If your brakes squeal all the time, there could be an issue with the anti-rattle clips, the brake pads, the pad insulation, or the rotors. Squealing brakes are also a sign that your brakes are overheating.
Eddie’s Auto Service in Harriman, TN, would be happy to inspect your vehicle’s brake system. Schedule an appointment with us today.