Any airplane pilot will tell you that the most crucial part of flying is landing safely. Likewise, stopping when needed is the most critical skill you can have as a driver. It hardly matters how cautious or capable you are behind the wheel when your brakes give out. That’s why brake repair is so necessary. Engine maintenance will keep your car moving; brake repair service can prevent an accident, and not just in the most obvious ways.

The Dangers of Bad Brakes

We’ve all seen it in the movies — somebody’s brake lines are cut, and the car careens uncontrollably down a steep, windy hillside, unable even to slow down! Bad brakes don’t typically work like that in real life. What’s more likely to happen is the car in front of you will stop abruptly, and your car won’t slow down quickly enough to avoid a collision. At worst, this can be tragic; at best, you’ll find yourself at fault for an accident.

It’s not just a failure to stop that may result in an accident. Brakes that work unevenly or too far out of balance from one side of the car to the other can create severe instability in your car’s steering. This could cause your car to suddenly veer into another lane when you mean to stop or slow down. From drastic brake failure to a loss of control that creeps up on you, routine brake repair service can prevent any of these scenarios.

The High Cost of Putting It Off

Properly maintained, a quality set of brakes can last up to 70,000 miles without being replaced. However, factors such as driving conditions, climate, and heavy use can lead to brakes deteriorating beyond repair after only 25,000 miles. If you know what to watch out for and have your brakes inspected during any routine maintenance, minor problems that arise during the lifespan of your brakes may be met with a low-cost brake repair service. For example, the lifespan of your brakes may be extended by replacing the surface of your brake rotors. However, wait until it’s too late, and your brakes must be replaced prematurely.

Know the warning Signs

How do you know when your car needs brake repair service? There are several signs you can look or listen for. The most obvious will be screeching sounds when you brake — they can be subtle or a deafening grind. Another clear one will be if your car starts to pull or fade in one direction or another when you brake to slow down. Sometimes, a car will vibrate when the brakes need repair service. But a very nuanced thing to pay attention to is how responsive your brakes are daily. Does your car come to a stop as quickly as it used to? Does the brake pedal seem softer? Does it give a little more when you push it down?

Recognizing warning signs indicating that your brakes need replacement is crucial for ensuring your safety on the road. Here are common warning signs that may suggest it’s time to replace your brakes:

1. Squeaking or Squealing Noises:

If you hear high-pitched squeaking or squealing when applying the brakes, it may indicate that the brake pads are worn down. Most brake pads are equipped with a wear indicator, producing these sounds when they are approaching their lifespan.

2. Grinding Sounds:

A grinding noise when braking is often a severe warning sign. This typically indicates that the brake pads have worn down completely and the metal backing of the pads is in direct contact with the brake rotor. Immediate attention is necessary to prevent further damage to the braking system.

3. Reduced Brake Responsiveness:

If you notice a delayed response or reduced effectiveness when applying the brakes, it could be a sign of worn-out brake pads. The brake pedal may sometimes feel spongy or require more pressure to engage the brakes.

4. Vibration or Pulsation:

Vibrations or pulsations felt through the brake pedal or steering wheel during braking may suggest issues with the brake rotors. Warped or unevenly worn rotors can lead to an uneven braking surface, causing vibrations.

5. Dashboard Warning Light:

Modern vehicles have sensors that monitor various components, including the brake system. If the brake system detects abnormalities, a dashboard warning light, often shaped like an exclamation mark or displaying the word “BRAKE,” may illuminate. Pay attention to these warning lights and seek professional inspection.

Regular brake inspections and maintenance are essential to catch potential issues early and ensure your vehicle’s continued safety and performance. If you notice any of these warning signs, you should have your brakes inspected and serviced by a qualified mechanic promptly.

If you start to see these warning signs, schedule an appointment with our team at Walker’s Automotive. We are here to help ensure that you stay on the road with your vehicle safely. Our team will provide the highest level of service for our customers. We understand how important it is to have a vehicle that works well and works well!