With all the comfort and technology provided in modern motor cars, it is easy to forget that you are travelling at high speeds in what is basically a little metal box. The ability to slow down and stop in a safe and controlled way is paramount for car safety, and no matter how well designed your car is, if you don't pay attention to signs your brakes need a service, you could soon find yourself in serious trouble. Below are 4 signs that your brakes need a service.
If you notice a clear or brown liquid collected around the wheels of your car, you should not drive the car. It is possible that this is brake fluid that has leaked from the wheel cylinders. If this is the case, the car will have zero ability to brake.
If you hear an unusual grinding or squealing sound when you apply the brakes, it is likely that you have worn break pads. Break pads are fitted with a special "squealer" tab, which makes a noise when pressed against the brake rotor during braking, and are designed to give you notice that it is time to get new brake pads fitted. If you do not replace the brake pads, you will hear a grinding noise, which is the sound of the bare metal of the brake pads coming into contact with the brake rotor. Metal on metal contact may not create enough friction to slow you down and could cause extensive damage to your car.
If when you press your foot on the brake pedal it depresses all the way to the floor with little resistance and feels spongy, you have a problem with your brakes. The most likely cause is worn brake pads, but other causes include a brake fluid leak or air trapped in the brake line.
If when you are driving it feels like your car has a mind of its own and is pulling to one side, this could indicate a problem with your brake calipers. Calipers are the part of the brake system that create the friction needed to slow or stop the car. If one of the calipers becomes stuck, it can have the affect of applying the brakes to one wheel of the car, causing the car to pull to that side.
If you notice any of the above problems with your car, you should immediately make an appointment to have your brakes services by a professional brake service.