Posted on: 20 April 2016
The freedom and opportunity presented by the open road are powerful lures, but they also come with some pretty important strings attached. Vehicle maintenance is perhaps the most important, and making sure that your brakes are in their best working condition is at the heart of that concern. Unfortunately, some people miss obvious warning signs, and predictable tragedies or costly mistakes occur.
Below, you'll find a guide to some of those warning signs, designed to allow you to keep your brakes in their best working condition. Following these suggestions will help guarantee that your car stays safe, secure, and always able to stop at the notice of a moment right before a serious situation.
If you're in your vehicle nearly every day, it's likely that you'll become an expert on its normal operating conditions perhaps without even realizing it. While certain sounds and feelings may seem to fade into the background, they also become a part of your routine. When they change, then, it's important that you take note.
Grinding sounds coming from your wheel wells are important warnings of brake trouble, as they often signify contact between metal components that ought not be occurring. In addition, many modern disc brakes are manufactured with a layer of metal designed to squeal when exposed, and this should be taken as a sign that substantial wear has occurred.
Additional Necessary Force
Modern braking systems are entirely hydraulic. The pressure which you apply to the brake pedal is translated through hydraulic lines which use the movement of fluid to magnify the force applied by the brakes. The entire process, though, begins with the pressure of your pedal, and it should remain consistent.
If you find yourself forced to apply additional brake pressure to achieve the same braking force, it may be a sign that you have a leak in your hydraulic system. It may also be a sign of substantial wear on your rotors or pads, but it's certainly a sign that a repair is needed.
On a straight, flat road, your steering wheel should require minimal attention to remain straight. Vehicles which drift to one side or the other likely have a somewhat substantial mechanical issue, and your brakes may be involved. Small metal pieces from your brakes may be interfering with your steering system, or uneven wear could be causing your alignment to be thrown off. While a drifting vehicle may be caused by many different problems, starting with checking your brakes is never a bad idea.
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