Staying ahead of problems with your car will help keep you away from accidents and costly repairs. The brakes are a vital system in your car, which is why they have to be at their optimum functioning efficiency all the time. The braking system is made up of various components, such as the brake pads. Brake pads wear out with time and have to be replaced. It is important to know when to do this to avoid problems when braking. Fortunately, your car will always tell you when it's time for new brake pads, and here are the warning signs to watch out for.
Strange Sounds When You Apply the Brakes
Properly functioning brake pads shouldn't produce a noticeable sound when you step on the brakes. However, when they start wearing out, you may hear a clicking or high-pitched screeching or squealing sounds. Most types of brake pads have a metal shim around them that acts as a wear indicator for when your brake pads are due for replacement. That is, when the brake pads wear out, the metal shim will come into contact with the brake rotor. This metal-to-metal contact will result in the unpleasant screeching or squealing sounds you hear when you apply the brakes.
If you don't replace your brake pads early enough, the squealing and screeching will change to growling or grinding noises. This is usually a case of severely worn-out brake pads. In fact, if you let the problem get this far, replacing the brake pads alone may not do the trick. That's because when your vehicle's brake pads are worn down completely, the brake calliper and the brake disc will start rubbing together when you apply the brakes, producing the growling sounds. Therefore, in addition to new brake pads, the brake rotors may have to be tuned or replaced altogether.
Do you feel constant grabbing or vibrations when you depress your brake pedal? You brake pads could be worn out. Typically, brake pads are held together by some form of a binding resin. When the pads start wearing down or when they overheat, the adhesive becomes hot as well and disperses across the brake rotors. The resulting uneven distribution of the adhesive can cause your brake pedal to vibrate when you step on it.
Your vehicle pulling to one side can be an indicator of a range of problems, including poor wheel alignment. However, if it only happens on braking, the brake pads could be wearing down unevenly and require replacement.
Contact an auto service centre to learn more about maintaining car brakes.