Seven Signs You Need New Brakes

Many people don’t think about their brakes until something goes wrong, and something going wrong can spell disaster. Most brake systems will tell you when they need a little TLC, and if you fix the problem sooner rather than later, you’ll save money. We here at Del Hatt Automotive recommend a brake inspection if you notice any of the following seven things.

Your Vehicle’s Brake Light Stays On

Your vehicle’s brake light should only stay on when you have the parking brake set. It should turn off and stay off at any other time. If it is on while you’re driving or braking, there’s something wrong with the brakes. It’s best to get them inspected as soon as possible to avoid brake failure.

The Brakes Grind, Squeak, and Squeal

These noises are generally associated with the brake pads. Your brakes will begin to squeak and squeal when the pads wear down, especially if they’re fitted with an alert designed to squeal while you drive. Your brakes with grind every time you stop if the pads have already worn away completely.

The Steering Wheel Wobbles When You Brake

When you press down on the brake pedal, the brake pads rub against the rotors to create kinetic energy to stop your automobile. If the rotors are warped, which they will do over time, especially if you’re driving with bald brake pads, the steering will shake or wobble each time you step on the brakes.

You See Brown, Oily Fluid on Your Garage Floor

This is one of those automotive head-scratchers. Motor oil is brown but not too slick or oily; brake fluid is brown and slick and oily. Who would’ve thought? Brake fluid often leaks out of the master cylinder or brake hoses, which are actually thin, metal pipes. Your vehicle cannot stop without brake fluid.

Your Brake Pedal Feels Weird and Sinks

If your vehicle is low on brake fluid, or if you have air in the brake lines, your brake pedal may feel spongy and/or sink to the floor when you step on it. This is also a sign of master cylinder trouble. Any changes in how your brake pedal feels should be investigated right away.

You Brake and Your Vehicle Pulls to the Side

You already know that if your vehicle pulls to one side while you’re driving, you’ve got a wheel alignment problem. If your vehicle pulls to the right or left when you’re braking, you’ve got a bad caliper or faulty hose. Hopefully, the problem is just a small rock stuck in the caliper.

You Can Smell the Heat

Finally, you should never smell anything hot when you’re driving or stopping. If you do, pull over to safety and turn off your automobile. In the case of overheating brakes, they will eventually fail completely because the brake fluid is too hot to do its job.

Avoid this and other dangerous situations by bringing your car, truck, or utility vehicle into Del Hatt Automotive in Poughkeepsie, NY, for a brake inspection. Call us today.

Photo by BartekSzewczyk from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

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