If your brakes are trying to tell you something, pay attention. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation, and should be checked immediately if you suspect any problems.
“While an annual brake inspection is a good way to ensure brake safety, motorists should not ignore signs that their brakes need attention,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road.”
The Car Care Council reminds motorists to look for the following warning signs that their brakes need to be inspected:
- Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
- Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
- Low Pedal: brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.
- Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.
- Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.
- Vibration: brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.
- Light: brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard.
Because brakes are a normal wear item on any vehicle, they eventually need to be replaced. Factors that can affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. Be sure to avoid letting brakes get to the point where they are “metal-to-metal,” which could result in an expensive rotor or drum replacement.