Are Your Car Brakes Worn? Here’s How to Tell

Posted February 5, 2024

Brakes are important mechanical systems that make it possible to control the speed of vehicles and stop them safely. According to Love to Know, Americans drive their vehicles for about 10 thousand miles annually. At that rate, the brake systems wear out in a couple of years and require maintenance and occasional repairs. If you are unsure about the condition of your vehicle’s brakes, here are four signs that you have worn brakes that need to be serviced right away.

1. Scraping and Grinding Sounds

Your brakes should be silent when you use them to stop or slow down. The first sign of worn brakes is when you hear metallic sounds while you are using the brakes. That sound is usually caused by the metal rivets on brake pads becoming exposed when the friction pads are worn beyond their service limit. The rivets scrape, scratch, and gouge the steel brake rotors, which can badly damage them if you ignore the problem until the brakes stop working.

2. Reduced Stopping Power

If you ignore brake maintenance long enough, you’ll probably notice your car doesn’t have its normal stopping power. It will take longer for the vehicle to slow down and stop, which makes it dangerous to operate. Eventually, you could lose all braking power on one or more of the wheels. Inspecting the brake system and replacing its worn parts should restore full braking power and driving safety.

3. Spongy Feeling in Brake Pedal

All hydraulic brakes have a master cylinder that delivers the hydraulic pressure to each of the brakes when you press the brake pedal. The brake pedal should have only a little travel before you have full braking power. Unfortunately, the master cylinder can stop working properly, or worn brakes might let air into the system. Both problems cause the brake pedal to feel spongy while greatly reducing the braking power until there is none.

4. Leaking Brake Fluid

You might notice an oil-like fluid on the wheels or possibly dripping onto the ground after you park your vehicle. The problem might be leaking brake fluid, which means air is getting into the brake lines and parts as more fluid leaks out. The problem might be a worn or damaged brake line or connection or a defective caliper that needs to be replaced. Fixing this problem and replacing the brake fluid will restore braking power.

Have you noticed any of the signs of brake problems described above? If so, it’s critical to have your vehicle looked at by a qualified professional right away. You can call or visit our automotive facility at D’s Auto and Truck Repair to have our ASE-certified mechanics inspect and maintain your vehicle’s worn brakes.

Categories: Car Repair


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