There is no worse feeling than if your brakes go out. It could be a life or death situation. You never want to let it get to that point, which is why regular brake maintenance is so crucial. At the first sign of any brake problems, you should take your vehicle to a professional mechanic for a proper brake inspection and service. Replace the brake pads as needed, keep your brake fluid healthy and make sure all the components are in good shape to keep you, your family and other drivers around you safe.
Here are 8 signs that your brakes might be going bad, according to the Fairbanks auto repair experts at Simard Automotive:
1. Your Brake Light is On
This one is pretty obvious. If the brake or ABS light is illuminated on your dashboard, then the vehicle is sensing something wrong with your brake system. You will want to get this checked out as soon as you can.
2. Leaking Brake Fluid
Any time you see fluid leaking underneath your car, it should be cause for concern. Brake fluid can be tricky to identify compared to a bright-color fluid like radiator coolant or transmission fluid, so it's a good idea to have a professional mechanic find the source of the leak and recommend the necessary repairs.
3. Awful Sounds
Again, any time you hear strange sounds coming from your vehicle, you should take notice and address it sooner rather than later. Squeaking, squealing and screeching noises are most common with brake problems and are often heard when you drive at slow speeds or when you press the brake pedal.
4. Loose Brake Pedal
When the brake pedal feels a bit loose or you have to press it all the way down for the car to come to a stop, then there is definitely a brake system issue that needs to be looked at.
5. Sticky or Skipping Brakes
When you come to a quick stop, it may feel like the brakes are extra "sticky," the vehicle may vibrate or it may have a weird skipping feeling like the brakes aren't consistently engaged. Whenever the brakes just don't feel right, you should be concerned.
6. Car Pulling to One Side
Though this could be a wheel alignment, suspension, wheel or tire issue, a car pulling hard to one side can also be the result of a brake problem.
7. Burning Smells or Smoke
If you smell something burning or see smoke when you step on the brakes, that is usually a sign that your brake pads or rotors are worn.
These are some of the most common signs that your brakes are going bad. If you are in the Fairbanks area and think you might have a brake problem or something else wrong with your car, truck or SUV, call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd.). Or, you can book your service appointment online to schedule a brake inspection by one of our top automotive technicians.