Most drivers are not prepared to react properly if their brakes fail. If you have ever been through the terrifying experience of having your brakes go out, you know that good brakes are one of the most important parts on any vehicle, especially in the Kalispell area. The best thing you can do for your car is to keep the brakes well maintained. Today, we will discuss warning signs that your car brakes are going bad, making good brake repair choices, and knowing when it is time to bring your car into the shop for a brake job.
Listen for noises associated with worn or bad brakes. The first indication that something is wrong with the brakes is an annoying and unusual sound. An obnoxious high-pitched squeaking sound, grinding noises, or scraping sound are all pretty clear indications that something is wrong.
A high-pitched squeaking or chirping sound is an early warning indicator that your brakes need repair. Most cars are equipped with a little piece of metal or device embedded in the brake pads, which causes that squeaking sound when it touches the rotor. The idea behind this is to allow you time to make an appointment for a brake repair. Once you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Loren’s Auto Repair as soon as possible.
If you hear a chattering or chirping sound, it can indicate that something is loose. This is a little more urgent. It could mean that your brake pad or even your brake calipers are loose, and if one of those parts falls off, you will have a very difficult time stopping your vehicle. If you are experiencing this sound, it is a good idea to park the vehicle until you can get it to the auto repair shop.
Grinding or scraping sounds normally indicate that your brake pad is completely worn down, and that the metal part of your brake is rubbing against the metal brake rotor, which can cause significant damage if left untreated.
Another warning sign that indicates that you may need a brake job is when your brake pedal is difficult to press. If your brake pedal begins to feel soft and spongy or hard to push in, it is time to get your brakes checked. And of course, if you notice a dashboard brake warning light, a quick brake inspection will easily determine the cause. Worn brake pads or warped rotors can cause vibrations to occur when braking. It is never safe to ignore braking vibrations. Failures in the anti-skid braking mechanism can also create shudders.
Replacing your brake pads is a recommended part of your maintenance routine. When replacing your brake pads, you do have several options to choose from. You can purchase standard brake pads, budget brake pads, or premium brake pads.
If you opt to get the same pads that came standard with your vehicle, you can expect the same performance and durability as with the factory pads that came on the car. You can also opt for inexpensive brake pads, or a budge brake pad, if your budget demands it.
As with most low-end items, you should be aware of the trade-offs that come with lower budget brake pads. Lower grade pads are often noisier than standard or premium brake pads, and they also tend to generate more of the black brake dust that accumulates on your wheels. Budget brake pads do not last as long as standard or premium brake pads. This means that you will have to spend the money to replace them sooner. The few dollars you save when buying budget brake pads is usually not worth the compromise.
The more expensive option when choosing which type of brake pad to purchase for your vehicle is premium brake pads. With premium brake pads, you can expect quieter operation, less brake dust, and better stopping power. They perform at much higher specifications than budget or factory brake pads.
If you drive around with worn or bad brake pads, you can do significant damage to your car’s rotors. To stop your vehicle, the brake pads clamp down on discs—or rotors. If you find that your rotor is scratched, you will need to bring your car into the auto repair shop to have it resurfaced or replaced.
Resurfacing a rotor is when a thin layer of metal is shaved off the surface to make it smooth. But if the grooves are too deep or if you have already had your rotor resurfaced in the past, there will not be enough material to resurface them again. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.
To keep your brakes performing safely and effectively, it is important to have the brake fluid changed. Changing the brake fluid is often overlooked, but scheduling to have the system cleaned and refilled with fresh brake fluid will help to ensure your brakes are working properly for optimal performance.
It’s always a good idea to remember that if you suspect, inspect. Have your brakes inspected if you notice any of these warning signs; an advisor will help you to make the best repair decision for you and your vehicle.