Being able to identify certain brake problems is something every driver should know. If you understand the symptoms of bad or failing brakes, you'll be able to get any potential problem addressed quickly to ensure your safety on the road.
Here are some of the ways you can troubleshoot your own vehicle's brakes, and understand what issue you may have depending on the symptoms you are experiencing:
- If you step on the brake pedal and it feels spongy, this is an indication that you have air in your brake lines and will need a brake bleed.
- Does the pedal seem to sink to the floor rather than have pressure? This can signify a bad master cylinder.
- After driving around for a while, do you notice that your brakes stop your car effectively? Is the pedal stopping between 1- 1 1/2 inches from the floor? If it seems that you have to apply more effort to stop or that it takes longer, you may need a new power booster.
- If you find that you need to "pump" your brakes in order to get them to work, you may have low or leaking brake fluid.
- Does it take longer to brake in city settings? If so, you may need new brake linings.
- If you feel that your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, this is a sign that you have unevenly worn down brake pads, a stuck caliper, or a brake fluid leak.
- If your steering wheel is shaking when you brake, this can indicate that the front disc brakes need to be adjusted.
- Squealing brakes when coming to a stop quickly can mean that you need new braking linings or you need some sort of adjustment of brake pads or calipers.
- Are you brakes making a grinding noise? This means that the brake linings are excessively worn, which can be dangerous on the road.
- If your vehicle bounces up and down when you stop, you may need to replace your vehicle's shocks and struts.
We hope that this guide is helpful for when you notice a strange brake problem. As soon as you recognize a brake issue, get your vehicle into Hoesly Automotive for an inspection. Driving with bad brakes can be dangerous, and we want to ensure your safety on the road. Give us a call or stop by our shop today!