Brake repair is essential when the pads wear down or the rotors warp — otherwise you could run into serious trouble if you need to stop quickly.
It’s hard to tell how long brakes will last, since their life span is mostly determined by driving style, where you drive and the make and model of the car.
No matter how old your brakes, stay on the lookout for these five clear signals that you may need brake repair:
They Feel Spongy
You push down on the pedal as usual, but your foot sinks to the floor. That spongy feel isn’t a good sign. It could mean that you have either an air or fluid leak in the system. That reduced responsiveness is only going to get worse and put you in danger, so get professional brake repair as soon as possible.
They Squeal When You Use Them
That high-pitched screech you hear coming from your brakes is a built-in warning sign designed to alert you to a worn-out pad. Don’t ignore it, or else you could wear completely through the pad, causing damage to the rotors. Once this happens, that squeal will turn into a grinding sound and it will cost much more to repair.
Your ABS Warning Light Comes On
When the anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light on the dashboard comes on, this usually means you are running low on fluid. If you read the owner’s manual, you may be able to add fluid on your own, but if the light stays on, it could mean you have a leak in the lines, which requires professional brake repair.
Your Car Pulls to One Side When You Brake
It’s frustrating to have to jerk your steering wheel back into position every time you brake, but if your car is pulling to one side when you stop, don’t write it off as a mere annoyance. Get a professional brake inspection right away. This is a sure sign that your brakes aren’t properly adjusted, you have a fluid leak or the pads need to be replaced.
Your Vehicle Vibrates When You Brake
Strong vibrations that come from the brake pedal or the steering wheel signal a serious issue — warped rotors. When you ride the brake as you go downhill or when you stop while towing a heavy load, the friction generates high heat — enough for the metal rotors to warp.
When it’s necessary, make sure you get brake repair from the best: State Automotive in Midvale, Utah’s premier auto mechanic and brake repair shop.