Even though it takes many parts operating correctly to make your car move forward, your brakes are what stop you – that makes them pretty important. The braking system is often overlooked, since when you turn the key and the car starts, stopping isn’t really on your mind. But the old “out of sight, out of mind” theory is a dangerous one when it comes to your brakes.
Common signs of brake failure include:
- Increased stopping distance or time
- Squealing or screeching noises when stopping
- Grinding brakes make noises, sometimes described as loud rubbing
- Pulling to one side or the other, this is known as brake “grabbing”
- Brake pedal that is soft, or goes all the way – or nearly – to the floorboard of the car
- Throbbing or pulsing in the brake pedal when stopping
- Antilock brake system (ABS) warning light
These signs are common with brake failure and should be taken seriously when observed. Crystallized brake pads or brake shoes are often the cause of some of these signs. When the brake pads or brake shoes are used, they get hot from the friction caused by grabbing the wheel and stopping the car. After time, they become hard and will no longer grab like intended.
Other problems with the car also can lead to brake failure. A leak in the rear differential or front transaxle can lead to oil on the brakes, as can grease from a broken rubber boot in the front end such as a ball joint or tie rod.
Using the breaks too much, as is common when driving in the mountains, city traffic or by those drivers who like to “ride the brakes” leads to what are known as “hot spots” on the brake drums and rotors. The hot spots are caused by excessive overheating of the brakes and results in loss of braking power.
For a complete brake inspection and break repairs, if necessary, contact the braking system experts at Wiygul Automotive Clinic today. Serving customers in Burke, VA, Fairfax Station, VA, Clifton, VA, Fairfax City, VA and Springfield, VA, Wiygul Automotive Clinic has been serving customers since 1996 performing all of the maintenance and service needs to keep your vehicle running at its best.