Every year motorists around the country are required to get their vehicles inspected, which includes periodic safety inspections of things like brakes. Here in Wyoming vehicle owners are NOT required to obtain state brake inspections, so it’s important to check your brakes regularly.
A good rule of thumb is to get the brakes inspected every year.
In the scheme of things brakes almost go unnoticed, until you really need them and play a significant role in bringing your vehicle to a halt.
During your day to day commutes, several tell-tale signs warn you that you may need to get your brakes checked.
Here are the Seven Signs You May Need To Get Your Vehicle’s Brakes Checked.
- Dashboard Brake Warning Light Displays
- Hear Weird Noises Coming From The Brake
- The Vehicle Takes Longer To Stop Than Normal
- The Vehicle Swerves Or Weaves When Braking
- Brake Pedal Feels Mushy Or Different When Braking
- The Vehicle Vibrates When Slowing Down
- Brake Fluid Is Low Or Drains Quickly
Dashboard Brake Warning Light Displays
Brake warning lights are the easiest and most efficient way to get information about your brakes. Once the vehicle onboard diagnostic system notices something isn’t right, a warning brake light will display.
If a brake warning light does illuminate, refer to your owners manual for instructions on what to do. When a brake issue occurs, you may need to bring the vehicle to see a qualified mechanic.
Note: When in doubt – Get a professional to look over your brakes by going to your dealership or a brake specialist.
When your vehicle starts to make unusual noises while driving it is a clear sign that your car needs an inspection.
Worn out brakes will often make shutter noises or squeals when the brakes are applied. Usually, these noises have to do with brake pads hitting the rotors at irregular intervals.
Continuing to drive with bad brakes can cause severe damage to the rotors as well as create safety issues.
When you hear a high pitch noise, get your brakes checked right away to avoid severe damage.
Vehicle Takes A Long Time to Stop
In cases where your car takes longer than usual to stop, you may need to consider getting your brakes checked by a professional.
When pressing down on your brakes, if it takes longer than average to stop or come to an immediate halt, you may have a brake problem.
Be aware that changing temperatures and precipitation can significantly
Vehicle Swerves or Weaves
Brakes are supposed to bring a car to a halt in a straight line rather than making the car weave or swerve to one side. If you experience a vehicle swerving or weaving when trying to stop, pull over to a safe area and call for a tow truck.
In most cases, the brakes are being applied unevenly to one side of the vehicle or wheel. It’s a sure sign you need to get your brakes serviced right away.
Brake Pedal feels Mushy or different when braking
If you notice your brake pedal feels a little off, it might not be your imagination. Over time, like any other vehicle part, brakes get worn and at some point need to be replaced.
Changes in brake pressure is usually a sign that the brake pads might be wearing out.
As always, when in doubt, get the brakes
If you experience vibrations at any point when applying brakes, you need to get your brakes inspected.
Frequently vibrations are caused by disc/rotor or drum surface issues. A simple check by a competent mechanic should be able to determine the problem.
Check your Brake Fluids
A simple yet clear sign of brake issues is leaking or low brake fluid. If you find that there are wet or moist spots left by your car, you may have a fluid leak. Brake fluid tends to look greyish or clear in color and has an oily feel to it, sort of like cooking oil.
One easy method to test for a leak is to place cardboard under the engine overnight and in the morning check for any oily substances. If there is, it could be an oil leak or brake fluid. In any case, it would be wise to get the vehicle inspected.
Besides all the above getting your brakes replaced on time and according to schedule maintenance is the best way to avoid potential brake issues down the road.