Brake failure accounts for 5% of car accidents in the US each year.
That might not sound a lot, but that figure translates to over 300,000 accidents. Being a safe driver is only half the issue; you have to maintain your vehicle too. So, you might be wondering what signs to look for when it comes to brake issues.
That’s where we can help! Keep reading for 5 signs your brakes are going out and could need repairs.
1. You Can See Your Brake Light
One of the clearest signs your brakes failing to function is seeing the brake light on your dash. That is the entire point of that light, to tell you there are brake problems.
In most cars now, there are two lights: the brake system warning and the antilock braking system (ABS). If you see any of these lights, take your car to your local auto shop. See here to learn more.
The brake light doesn’t always show an issue, though. It’ll also show when you have engaged your parking brake. But if you check and that’s not engaged, you could have car issues.
2. Your Steering Wheel Vibrates When You Brake
Vibrations in your steering wheel could be a sign that the rotors warped. These are the large discs that sit behind the rim or wheel. When you press the brake pedal, the brake pads squeeze the rotor to stop the vehicle.
If they’re warped, they could be catching or clipping, causing those vibrations. You’ll want a repair shop to fix them, but they might need a full replacement. They often don’t cost more than resurfacing them though, so it’s a good investment in safety.
3. You See Leaking Brake Fluid
Another sign of car problems is seeing leaking brake fluid. This often means you need a new master cylinder. This part is where the fluid sits. The pressure between the cylinder and brake lines gives you your stopping power.
If you’re leaking fluid, it’s going to make braking and stopping very difficult. Let a specialist take a look and remedy the issue. If you ignore it, you could be putting your life at risk and anyone who gets in your car with you.
4. The Brake Pedal Feels Soft or Spongy
If you feel a soft pedal when you press down or you can touch the floor, then you need your brakes checked right away. This is often a sign of moisture in the brake system, which is one of the more serious auto problems.
Your master cylinder isn’t working right and needs immediate repair. Like leaking brake fluid, this compromises your ability to brake and could be a risk to human life.
5. You Smell Burning While Driving
Smelling burning from your wheels when braking means your brakes are overheating. Continuing to do this could lead to a total failure of your braking system.
If you start to smell burning or see smoke coming from the wheels pull over right away. It’s time for a brake inspection, and you might need to call out a breakdown recovery company.
Don’t Take Brakes Going Out Lightly
Brakes going out is a serious matter that needs that could be life-threatening. Now you know these signs to look for; you’ll be able to handle the situation fast before anything happens. Always get your brakes checked by a professional auto repair firm if you’re worried.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other blog posts for more useful tips and tricks.