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The Importance of Checking Your Vehicle’s Braking System

When it comes to your car’s maintenance needs, one of the most important things you need to keep an eye on is the braking system. Brakes are perhaps the most crucial component of your car when it comes to vehicle safety. If you cannot stop in time, you could end up in an accident. Here are some warning signs that your brakes are in need of maintenance.

Brake Pads Are Thin

Even if you don’t know much about cars, you can easily check the brake pads on your car. The brake pads should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. If they appear to be any thinner than that, then you need to bring your car in to be looked at right away.

Squeaking or Squealing

If you hear squeaking or squealing sounds when you apply the brakes, it is a definite warning sign that you need to get your brakes checked out. These sounds mean one of two things. The sound could be the vehicle’s warning signal that the brakes are in need of repair. For some reason, this sound actually comes from the braking system itself under your car.

The other cause of the sound could be that the brake pads are worn through. That means that you are actually hearing the metal of the brake calipers grinding against the tire, which is obviously a bad thing… the cost of repairs increase daily in this case.

A Pulling to One Side

If you let go of the wheel and the car has a tendency to pull to the left or right, it could be a sign that you have a brake caliper stuck. Though it may not be the brakes, a car that is pulling definitely should be looked at by a qualified mechanic, especially if you’re dealing with a European vehicle.

Brake Pedal Vibrations

Anyone who has ever had to slam on the brakes will be aware of how the pedal shimmies when the antilock brake system kicks in. However, if this pedal shimmying happens under normal braking maneuvers, then it is time to bring the car in to be looked at. The vibrating brake pedal could be a sign of worn brake rotors.

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