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5 warning signs that you need to check your brakes

Written by Wasim

It goes without saying that the car brakes are the most important safety aspect in your car. However, most of us tend to ignore servicing the brakes, as the brake warning light did not come on – which might be super dangerous sometimes.

Normally, it’s advised to inspect your brakes every 6 months. Nonetheless, each car is different and, as the popular saying goes “listen to your body”, it’s the same with cars, you got to listen to the signs.

Here are 5 warning signs that you need to check your brakes ASAP:

  1. Abnormal sounds when applying brakes:

Have you ever applied your car brakes only to realise it’s shouting back at you? Yeah, that’s your car’s brakes crying for help! Once you hear squeaking, screeching, grinding or other clicking noise when applying the brakes, be sure to visit an auto mechanic to service the brakes right away. Otherwise, this will also damage your rotor (big discs that sit inside of the wheel and clamp down on the brake pads to stop your car from spinning), which can be an expensive fix.
  1. Vibration in the car steering wheel and pedal pulsation

Vibration in your steering wheel might indicate warped, damaged, or excessively worn pads. The only solution at this point is to replace your brake pads. Whereas pedal pulsation is caused by uneven rotors. Rotors warp over time due to the heat generated from braking. An auto mechanic will resurface or replace the rotors with new, smooth ones depending on your case.
  1. Reduced braking responsiveness

If you feel like you need to apply extreme pressure to the pedals before your brakes engage, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system; be it an air leak or a fluid leak.
  1. Pungent burning smell

Smelling a burning odor when applying the brakes during regular driving might indicate that your brakes are overheated and need to get checked. However, if this smell occurs every once in a while when you brake so hard while, for instance, going down a hill, it’s likely due to friction so it’s not a problem.
  1. Pulling to one side

The braking system has two sides that work equally when you press the brakes. However, if the left or the right side has an issue, your car will pull to one side. This could be annoying and dangerous too. Hence it’s advised to visit your auto mechanic to get the brakes checked and fix this issue as soon as it occurs.

Originally published Mar 11, 2019 13:34:52 PM, updated Jun 06, 2021

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