The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

Some Typical Symptoms of an Ailing Brake System

by Brittany Marshall

Your braking system is an essential safety feature of your car. It allows you to slow down when you are accelerating the vehicle, and it also lets you stop when you need to. Therefore, you should not take any chances when it comes to ensuring that your brakes are functioning properly at all times. Here are a number of tell-tale signs your car may be experiencing brake trouble and should be taken to the mechanic shop.

Grinding noises

If you hear grinding noises every time you step on the brake pedal, chances are high that your brake pads are completely worn out and some metallic components are rubbing together. This can scratch or warp your rotors, leading to an uneven surface. Keep in mind that it is the rotors that make it possible for you to stop your car. If it so happens that they are damaged, you may not be able to stop your car when it is headed for a high impact collision. A mechanic can help you replace inoperative brake pads with new ones. If the surface of your rotor is not even, they will even it out, a process referred to as "turning." If it is too worn out to be "turned," it will also be replaced.

Vehicle pulling

If your car moves to one side of a straight road without you turning the steering wheel, you should be concerned about it because that is not an ordinary thing. It could be an indication that your brake linings are tiring down irregularly or that there is excess sediment in the brake fluid. In case of faulty brake linings, your vehicle may simply need a brake adjustment. But if the problem is dirty fluid, the fluid will have to be drained and replaced with fresh fluid. The best thing with changing brake fluid at the mechanic shop is that they will ensure only manufacturer-recommended brake fluid products are used.

Pulsating brake pedal

Another symptom of brake failure is when your brake pedal vibrates a lot every time brakes are applied. Sometimes, the vibrations are so strong that you can feel them when holding the steering wheel. Usually, the main culprit behind the issue is severely damaged brake pads. But it could also be bad rotors. This problem is common for aggressive-style drivers, such as those who often step on the brake pedals for long periods when driving downhill.