What's wrong with your brakes?
Updated: Aug 23
When driving your car, what would be the number one safety feature you'd want to work over anything else? Well, if it were me, I'd want it to be the brakes. It's a huge hazard to have an issue with your brakes since the brakes are how you stop the vehicle. In this article, we are answering some common questions about brakes and the common issues that can be affecting them. Let's check out the first Question.
Why do I hear grinding or squealing?
You may hear a grinding noise after your car sits overnight, which usually goes away after a few Brake applications. This is caused by surface rust on the rotor and shouldn't cause any alarm. Heavy grinding can be caused by rust build-up where the pad doesn't meet the rotors or can also be caused by brake pads that have no lining causing the metal to ride on metal. Brake squeals can be caused by numerous reasons but typically are caused by brake pad vibration or a wear indicator hitting the rotor. Any consistent noise should be looked at by your trusted mechanic, as it could indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Why do my brakes feel spongy?
A big part of the braking system is the brake lines. If you have a leak or some other issue that allowed air to get inside the line itself, this could be the reason for spongy feeling brakes. It could also be caused by brake hoses that expand too much on application, or rust between the calipers and pads. Hydraulic pressure has to be evenly distributed to properly bring a vehicle to a stop. So if you're feeling sponginess when braking, it's a good idea to get your brake system checked out before any more damage is incurred.
Why does my vehicle shake when I brake?
When you apply the brake on your car it causes the brake pads to squeeze the rotors, which creates friction slowing the vehicle, until you release them. If you're feeling shaking or vibrations in the brake pedal then it could mean the rotors are warped or have variations in thickness. This would send a vibration from the rotors to the pads up to your steering wheel or the brake pedal. It's important to get this issue checked over by your trusted mechanic because this will eventually cause uneven wear on the pads and rotors which could lead to more issues in the long run.
What causes brakes to fail?
Excessively worn pads and rotors or hydraulic issues from the brake system are the most common causes of brake failure. If you have leaks in the brake lines then you may notice that the brakes feel spongy or the pedal going to the floor (sinking) as we discussed above. But if fluid from the lines leaks inside the master cylinder then you may feel your brake peddle starts to sink. If you feel this stop the car immediately, the best you can. This is an indication that your brakes are failing and are rapidly losing pressure due to the master cylinder failure.
If you have any concerns regarding your brake pads and rotors or your braking system, please give us a call. We'd be happy to answer any questions you have and schedule an appointment to address the issues and get you safely back on the road. Have you ever encountered any of these issues? Tell us in the comments below!
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