Common Brake Problems and Why They Need Fixing
Brakes are an essential safety system for any vehicle, often making the difference between a collision and a near miss. But your brakes might not always work as you need them to.
Running into brake trouble can be scary, especially if you’re unsure of the cause. That’s why, this month, we’re taking a look at the dangers that can occur from the most common brake problems and why they should be fixed as soon as possible.
Spongy or soft brake pedal
Your brake pedal should feel firm underfoot, so a soft or ‘spongy’ feeling pedal should be an obvious warning sign. Often, a soft brake pedal is evidence of air in the brake line, which will interfere with the flow of the brake fluid. Bleeding the brakes will flush the air from the system, allowing the fluid to flow again and returning the firm feeling to the pedal.
A soft pedal may also be caused by leaking brake fluid, possibly due to damaged brake lines or corroded callipers. If this is the case, a qualified mechanic should take a thorough look at the brake system, and make repairs as necessary. Reduced flow of brake fluid makes it harder to brake, which is a serious hazard to any road user. When you feel your brake pedal losing its firm feel, have your car serviced immediately.
Noises while braking
Certain brake issues won’t let you ignore them; they’ll emit one of a number of easily identifiable noises. Keep an ear out for:
- grinding; and
Generally, these sounds will indicate an issue with the brake pads. If your brake pads have been worn down, the wear indicator will emit a high pitched squeal when braking, as a means of letting you know to get them replaced. You should do so immediately; continuing to drive on worn brake pads will wear them down further until they eventually fail entirely.
When the pads are worn down to the bare metal, the squeal will turn to a grinding noise, and your rotors will be exposed to serious damage. You should check your car in immediately to have the brake pads and rotors thoroughly examined and repaired or replaced. Continuing to drive with fully worn brake pads means putting the lives of you, your passengers and other road users at serious risk.
Brake clicking can occur when the brake pads are loose or have been poorly installed. Having your pads installed by a professional, reliable mechanics will ensure your brake pads are properly fitted.
You may feel vibration or pulsation in the steering wheel or brake pedal itself while braking. This is commonly a sign of warped rotors. They will either need resurfacing or entirely replaced, so make an appointment with a qualified professional to remedy the situation. Your rotors are an integral part of the braking system, and driving with misshapen rotors will impede your ability to brake effectively, creating a serious hazard to you and other road users.
Pulling to one side
Your car may pull to one side when you hit the brakes. If your car pulls to the left, the problem is on the right side – and vice-versa. This issue is dangerous as it causes your car to swerve on the road. Common causes for this are stuck callipers or a collapsed brake hose – which will require the attention of a professional.
A buildup of oil or grease on the brake pads may also interfere with the braking system, causing the car to pull. Contaminated brake lining will need replacing once the source of contamination has been repaired.
Wyatt Auto Services provide professional and reliable servicing and repairs to customers throughout Barnsley. Our highly qualified team of mechanics will assess and repair any damage to your car, offering a friendly service at an affordable price. If you’ve noticed any problems with your brakes or any other aspect of your car, get in touch with the team at Wyatt Auto Services today.