Brakes are the most important safety feature on your car, helping you slow down and stop safely whenever you drive. Over time, the pressure and friction that they experience wears down the pads, resulting in decreased stopping power. While this is difficult to notice, prompt brake repairs are necessary to help you avoid accidents. Below are several indications that a mechanic should inspect your brakes.
When Do You Need Professional Brake Repairs?
1. Illuminated Warning Light
Most modern vehicles have sensors that monitor the brake pads and the electronics that control the system. If the brake light on your dashboard turns on, the pads may be worn, which can cause vibrations in the brake pedal. The warning light could also indicate a leak in the brake fluid, so check for yellow stains near the wheels or underneath the master cylinders. This light can also mean that the parking brake is engaged, so check this component and release it.
2. Strange Noises
Most brake pads are made of carbon with a thin layer of metal in the middle. When the pad wears down, the metal strip scrapes against the rotor, emitting an unpleasant squeal when you engage the brakes. This feature is an early warning system that tells you to replace the pads.
If the pads are completely worn down, the calipers will rub against the rotor. This is dangerous, as the metal-on-metal contact will grind the rotors, creating deep gouges that you cannot repair. Grinding or crunching sounds when you step on the brake mean you likely have no brake pad left, which can make driving dangerous.
3. Pulling to the Side
Brakes often don't wear evenly, and mechanical problems can make one side more effective than the other. When this happens, the vehicle might suddenly pull to the side that is stronger. If your car is always drifting to the left or right, you may be due for a tire alignment. However, if the steering suddenly jerks when you apply the brake pedal, you may need to replace the brake pads, cables, and calipers.
When you need professional brake repairs to restore the safety and function of your car, contact 3C Automotive in Wilkesboro, NC. Whether you have illuminated dashboard warning lights or you need routine maintenance, their team will help you get back on the road. They also sell a variety of new and used cars to connect you with the perfect vehicle. Visit the website to see their available cars, and call (336) 973-1000 to schedule brake service.