A car's brakes are one of its most vital safety components, yet many vehicle owners overlook brake maintenance. Generally, brakes should be replaced around every 50,000 miles, but this can vary greatly depending on the make and model of the car in addition to the type of miles primarily put on it (city or highway). Either way, there are a few common telltale signs a car needs new brakes that vehicle owners should know.
Squeaking and Squealing
One of the earliest signs that it's time for new brakes will come when strange, audible noises can be heard when pressing the brake pedal. This may be a persistent squeaking, squealing, or even grinding noise.
Sometimes, brakes will squeak when first used after a heavy rain, but the sound will soon go away. This is perfectly normal. But if the squeaking continues, this might mean that the brake pads are worn and need to be replaced. Failure to address this right away could result in caliper and rotor damage, which is more expensive to repair.
Pulling to One Side
Another common sign drivers may notice when their brakes are nearing the end of their lives is that of the vehicle pulling to one side when braking. Often times, this indicates a brake caliper that's stuck or has gone completely bad. As a result, when the brake pedal is depressed, friction to the brakes is applied unevenly, causing the car to pull either to the left or the right.
Of course, a car pulling to one side while braking isn't always a sign of bad brakes; it can also mean poor alignment, so it's important to have the car checked out before paying to have new brakes Longmont repair shop.
Vibration in the Steering Wheel
Finally, when depressing the brake pedal, a car with sound brakes should come to a smooth stop. If the brake pads or rotors are worn, then there may instead be a strong vibration in the steering wheel when coming to a stop. This is a problem that should be addressed right away, as it often indicates that the brakes are long beyond the wear and tear they were originally designed for.
These are just a few common signs that it may be time for new brakes. All car owners should keep these in mind to stay safe behind the wheel.