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8 Alarming Signs Your Car Has Bad Brakes

Did you know that faulty brakes are responsible for 5% of car crashes every year? That is approximately 300,000 accidents that could be prevented with proper brake maintenance.

If you don't know what the signs are, it might be tough to spot bad brakes. There are plenty of warning signs you shouldn't ignore and we'll cover 8 of the most common ones in this article.

Let's get started.

1. You Spot Fluid Leaks

When it comes to car brakes, one little issue can lead to the other. If one of the components doesn't work properly, If you don't feel strong resistance when you brake, this might be a sign of a brake fluid leak.

How does this happen? For example, the master cylinder generates the power your car needs to brake properly. The cylinder contains a reservoir to store brake fluid similar to where the windshield wiper fluid is stored.

When you apply the brakes, the brake fluid passes through a thin pipe and creates hydraulic pressure that helps stop the car.

If the fluid escapes the fluid reservoir, you will have trouble braking.

2. The Beak Pads Are Worn Out

Most cars have come with disk brakes as part of the system. All of the components of the hydraulic system work together to make your car stop.

The brake fluid passes through the calipers, these squeeze the rotors, and the friction between the rotors and pads stops the vehicle. As time goes on, the brake pads will wear out and you need to replace them.

Replace your brake pads when necessary and you will avoid problems in the long run.

3. Your Car Deflects to One Side

If the brake force in the wheels is uneven, your car will deflect to one side when you brake. The reason might simply be an oil distribution. One side must not be getting the proper lubrication causing the car to deflect to one side.

There are other reasons why the car might deflect to one side such as the brake calipers. If the calipers have a blockage or don't apply even pressure, it will cause the car to deflect to the side.

Once you notice your car deflects to one side, you shouldn't wait long to take the car to the mechanic. It could put your safety at risk to avoid the problem.

4. The Brakes Squeal and Vibrate

When you brake, you're not supposed to feel your car vibrate. If you notice your car vibrates when you brake, this is a clear sign that your car needs new brakes.

You will begin to feel the steering wheel vibrate and this means the rotors of your car are not operating evenly. As time passes and you turn the wheel, the rotors will worsen if you don't do anything about it.

You also have to worry about corrosion eating away the rotors. If you take your car in for routine maintenance, the mechanic will be able to tell you the condition of the rotors.

In order to fix the rotors, and stop the vibrating, the mechanic has to follow the specifications of the vehicle.

When the caliper brake is not used properly, it can also create the steering wheel to vibrate. The main role of the caliper brakes is to keep the brakes from touching the rotors and slowing down the car.

Factors such as weather conditions, wear, road debris, can cause the pistons to get stuck and the car to vibrate.

5. The Pedal Feels Unstable

When you apply pressure to your brake pedal, you're supposed to feel even pressure. If you begin to notice you push down on the pedal and each time the pressure feels different, it's time to take the car to the mechanic.

An unstable pedal is often a sign air or moisture have gotten in the brake system. This can affect the main cylinder. Although there can be a number of other reasons affecting the stability of the brake pedals such as an oil leak, uneven brake pads, or dirty brake oil.

Your mechanic should be able to get down to the problem and fix it.

6. You Hear Strange Sounds

The last thing any car owner wants to hear are strange noises. Out of the ordinary sounds are a sign there might be something wrong with your car.

If you brake and you hear a strange noise, it might be time to get your brakes inspected.

There are few different types of noises you will hear when you brake. For example, a hissing sound happens when the rotor and the brake pads don't align.

A creaking sound is a sign the brake pads are completely worn out. Sporadic sounds are often not a cause for concern, but you should still take your car in to be on the safe side.

7. Burning Smell

Aside from the occasional bag of fast food, your car shouldn't smell. If you notice a burning smell coming from the brakes, you need to take it to the mechanic immediately.

This is a sign the something in the brake system is getting overheated.

If this happens while you're driving, stop and pull to the side. Wait for a little until things cool down before getting back on the road. Failure to do so can result in the brake fluid boiling and damaging your car further.

Take your car for maintenance as soon as you can.

8. The Brake Light Comes On

No one likes it when one of the lights on the car dashboard comes on. If you haven't spotted any of the signs mentioned in this list and the brake light comes on, you should take your car to the mechanic as soon as possible.

Oftentimes, it might be a simple fix but you don't want to let a long time go by without checking it out.

Don't Ignore These Signs of Bad Brakes

Now that you know about these warning signs, it will be easier to detect when you have bad brakes. Don't wait too long before taking your car in for maintenance.

If you want to learn 7 warning signs you might have a battery problem, check out this article.