Your vehicle needs to stop – no doubt about it. Brakes are a necessity at all times, giving you control of your car and keeping you safe while on the road. Wear and tear on your brakes, pads, and shoes can get weak – and eventually fail – just as with any other pieces of equipment. It’s good to be aware of the typical warning signs of brake failure. By catching brake problems before they become severe, you’ll be able to protect yourself and other motorists from potential disaster. Read on to learn three signs of brake failure that you should watch out for the next time you are in your vehicle.
Shaky Steering Wheel
When your car brakes start to fail, the primary culprit is a problem with the drum or motor of your braking system. Fortunately, detecting a warped drum or motor is as easy as taking a drive and paying attention to what your vehicle is telling you. When you press your brake pedal, even slightly, and it causes your wheel to shake, it’s usually a major warning sign of impending brake failure. The more severely your wheel shakes, the closer you are to a brake catastrophe, making it extremely important to bring your car in for service the very first time you notice this shaking phenomenon.
Pulling or Dragging
Two major causes of brake failure are rust on the emergency brake or improperly adjusted brake pads. If your car’s braking system is suffering from either of these problems, you will notice it as a pulling or dragging sensation. If you experience dragging during acceleration, then this is usually a problem with the emergency brake; if your car pulls to either the left or right while braking, then this indicates a bad brake adjustment, low brake fluid, or frozen brakes. Experiencing either pulling or dragging while operating your vehicle should not be ignored, as both issues can mean an impending brake failure, putting your safety at risk.
Excessive Braking Noises
When your car is running smoothly, the only noise you should hear is the purr that comes from a well-maintained engine. However, if you start to hear squealing or screeching noises while driving your car, then you may be headed for a brake disaster. Squealing is an especially worrisome noise, as it is usually a sign of a brake pad on its last legs. Additionally, if you hear a clicking noise when applying your brakes, the mechanism that holds your brake pad in place may have come loose, which is an extremely dangerous situation deserving immediate attention. If you hear any out-of-the-ordinary noises when using your brakes, seek service as soon as possible.
Brake failure is one of the most unfortunate causes of car accidents every single year, and what makes it such a sad situation is that brake failure is entirely preventable. Paying attention to the tell-tale signs of a brake failure can both increase the lifespan of your vehicle and ensure that you are as safe as possible whenever you and your family hit the road.
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