One of the scariest things that could happen while driving is realizing that your car has lost braking ability. Braking failure can cause car accidents, which can lead to serious bodily injuries and even loss of lives.
The good news is that most problems with the braking system can be identified and repaired before they can result in a braking breakdown. However, the onus is on you to watch out for early signs of brake issues and take corrective action immediately.
There are many signs that may point to brake repair issues, but some are more obvious than others. Here are some common warning signs you may have bad brakes.
You Hear Unusual Noises When You Apply The Brakes
While it is virtually impossible to have brakes that will be completely silent 100% of the time, some brake noises are too annoying to ignore and they often point to brake problems.
Any noise that deviates from the normal noises your brakes make when they are applied warrants a visit to the brake service shop. Some of the unusual brake noises to keep an ear out for include squealing, squeaking, scraping, howling, and grinding sounds.
Your Brake Warning Light Comes On
If the brake warning light on your dash is on continuously or comes on when you brake, it is likely that there's something wrong with your brakes.
Low brake fluid level and worn brake pads are the usual culprits. When your brake fluid level is low, hydraulic pressure is lost on one side of the braking system when you brake. This reduces your vehicle's braking ability, making the brake warning light turn on.
The light will also come on when your brake pads are worn out. Worn brake pads can't squeeze against the rotor disc hard enough to decelerate or halt your car.
You Can See Brake Fluid Leaking
If you spot a puddle of brake fluid on the floor after you have parked your car, you should get the leak fixed right away. Otherwise, your car will lose braking power when you need it to slow down or stop.
The color of fresh brake fluid may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but it is generally clear with a tint of gold or yellow. As the fluid starts aging, it will gain a darker shade.
The secret to keeping your braking system working properly on the road is to address signs of brake problems early enough. Visit a brake repair shop near you whenever you suspect your brakes are bad.