Vehicles and the mechanisms inside of them can be a bit of a puzzle, and problems that come along with them can be even more confusing to figure out. These issues can range from little problems that are harmless and need little to no repair, like dust in the braking system that causes squeaking, for example, to larger more serious issues, that end up costing a fortune. While you should not be alarmed at every sound, sensation, or smell, some can be warning signs that you’re due for a brake overhaul.
If you are concerned about your brakes, here are a few things you might want to note down to tell the mechanic working on your vehicle:
- What are the noises you are experiencing? Are they squealing, squeaking, or grinding?
- Where exactly is the noise coming from?
- Is there a specific thing that causes the noises to start/stop? Revving the engine? Braking? Accelerating?
- Are there any smells?
- Do you feel anything? Jerking? Vibration?
As we stated above, not every sound, sensation, or smell should cause you to be alarmed, however, here are a few common signs you should look out for:
- Squealing, Squeaking or Grinding
If the noise you are experiencing is a grinding squeal that came on suddenly, no need to panic, it could be something as simple as a rock caught between the brake pad and the disc. Another reason you could be hearing this sound is from moisture or dust in the braking system, thankfully though, no damage is being done. One last reason is that your vehicle’s hardware may need lube.
However, if the sound you are experiencing is more like a constant, high-pitched screech coming from the wheel area while you’re driving, that begins gradually and ends when you stop, it is most likely the brake pad wear indicator. This means you are due for service.
- Vibration or Pull
It is completely normal to experience some feelings while you are in the car, and for many of those feelings, it is nothing too serious. It is usually a very little issue such as an unbalanced tire, which can cause you to feel some vibration in your steering wheel. Problems like these aren’t serious at all and costs little to nothing to fix.
However, there are more serious reasons you might be feeling vibrations, jerkiness, or pulling. If you are experiencing a vibration in the brake pedal or steering wheel, and only feel it during braking, it is most likely a brake system issue, like an uneven rotor surface. This can occur from many things. Another reason this could be happening, is a worn suspension part.
If you are experiencing a brake pedal that seems too soft when you hit it can be a cause from air in the hydraulic system, brake pads being worn out, or a fluid leak.
- Bad Smell
Our vehicles emit many odors, and some can cause us to worry a bit. In many instances if you begin to smell something strong, it is most likely from oil burning, especially if your vehicle has recently had it’s oil changed. One other, less likely cause could be from driving with the parking brake engaged.
However, if the scent you are experiencing is coming from your wheels it’s possible you’ve been riding the brakes and they’ve overheated.
Tips Before Getting Service
We recommend you ask questions and read your owner’s manual.
Be wary if the mechanic says you need brake service when you have 50 percent pads left. Many shops use percentages to tell when brakes are due, which can be very confusing to the average driver. So if you are recommended to get a brake service we recommend you wait until your pads are down to 15 to 20 percent.
Yes, brake fluid needs to be replaced. Maintenance and cleanliness are very important for your vehicle. This means changing your brake fluid will extend your brake component life.
Find out what’s included. Make sure thoroughly inspect your vehicle and if possible get a written quote that includes pad and rotor measurements.
Bottom line: Brake sounds, smells, vibration or a dashboard light are not things to struggle to figure our or be stressed about. Get them checked out pronto by a service shop you trust.
Agape Auto Service prides ourselves on having the most qualified technicians to work on your vehicle while also using the top quality equipment and products. Agape Auto Services uses BG Products to protect you, your family, and your vehicle. If you’re experiencing any issues with your brake system or would just like a routine inspection of your vehicle to prevent any issues, give us a call today or click here to make an appointment.