Did you know that new brakes may be needed in as few as 20,000 miles or as long as 70,000 miles? Brakes wear down at different rates based on road conditions, usage, driver habits, and the type of vehicle you have. Some vehicles give audio and visual warnings (such as a brake light) when your vehicle needs new brakes. You need to look out for these changes when you are slowing down or coming to a complete stop.
1. Responsiveness Issues
Suppose you notice that your brakes are slower to respond, or if the brake pedal feels loose, you will definitely need to get them checked out. This problem, most of the time, coincides with the vehicle’s brake lines.
2. Grinding Sounds
A grinding metal sound that erupts when you come to a stop is a sign that it is time for new brakes. This sound comes from tiny metal ridges on the bottom of the brake pad to alert the driver that the brakes have worn down. As soon as you hear this sound, take your vehicle to our automotive shop immediately. Continuing to drive with this symptom could lead to damage of the rotors and cause other issues.
3. Squeaks or Squeals
Not all squeaks and squeals indicate that it’s a brake issue. For example, it might happen when it rains or snows. However, if you hear this every time you brake, it could indicate that it’s time to replace your brake pads.
4. Vibrating Brake Pedal
If you feel shaking beneath your feet when stepping on the brakes, there’s a chance that your brake pads are worn out, or there’s an issue with the brake rotors. Your vehicle will need to be inspected right away.
5. Drifting Left or Right
When a vehicle randomly drifts right or left when you brake, it may signify that the brakes have been worn out unevenly. However, pulling when braking can also be a brake fluid issue. Regardless, it’s a good idea to take your vehicle to an experienced professional to examine for an accurate diagnosis.
The brake system of any vehicle is the essential component in ensuring the safety of its driver and passengers. As a responsible driver, you should have routine brake inspections and replace the brakes when needed. If you are in the area of Berkeley, CA, and suspect you’re due for a brake inspection, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop!