7 Signs You Need New Brakes
When you feel like there’s something wrong with your brakes, have it checked right away. Everybody knows that and everybody knows the risk of not doing so. You can’t be too careful, right? But just in case you don’t sense anything wrong just yet, Planet Parts, the premier online auto parts store in Australia, recommends being on the lookout for when any of these signs show up, to know right away if your brakes need repairs or replacement.
- The Brake Light is On. One of the easiest ways to tell whether you need a car brake upgrade is by the brake light. If this persistently appears red on your dashboard, it’s best to book a professional inspection right away to help solve the problem right away.
- Unusual Metallic Noises. Hearing metallic, high-pitched noises every time you apply the breaks is an indication of the brake pads wearing down. These pads are made of steel, so they make noises when coming in contact with the rotor. It’s important to have these replaced as soon as possible to avoid rotor damage.
- Frequent Vibrations. Vibrations are often a sign of warped rotors. These feel similar to the feedback you get from a brake pedal during a panic stop with a vehicle that’s equipped with anti-lock brakes. Warped rotors are often caused by severe braking for extended periods of time. The large amount of friction created in these conditions heat up the rotors and cause them to warp. If you notice this, we recommend turning to an expert to determine whether you need a car brake upgrade or not.
- Soft Brake Pedal. If there is a difference in your brake pedal’s resistance, this could indicate a serious problem. Brakes that are softer or that tend to sink all the way to the mat have air or moisture in the system. In autos with power brakes, the pedal should stop at least 1 inch from the floor. For manual brakes, the ideal distance from the floor is at least 3 inches.
- Leaking Fluid. If your car has a soft brake pedal, we recommend having your technician look for leaking fluid in the system as well, especially in the master cylinder. This is the unit responsible for powering your brakes. When you push the brake pedal, fluid is pushed through the cylinder’s thin piping, creating hydraulic pressure. Leaking fluid will make it difficult for the brake pads to clamp on the rotors.
- Tendency to Bounce When Stopping. Vehicles that rock or bounce when braking need to have their shock absorbers replaced. To ensure your vehicle’s health, we recommend having a professional perform a thorough inspection of your vehicle. This way, you can determine which car brake parts need to be repaired or replaced.
- Burning Smell. Notice a sharp, burning smell when you repeatedly brake hard on steep roads? That’s a sign of overheated brakes. When this happens, pull over immediately and check if your parking brake is fully released. Continuing to drive can cause the brake fluid to heat up, resulting in brake failure.