Brake Light is Illuminated
When the dash lights that pertain to a vehicle’s brakes illuminate, this possibly means that the vehicle will need the brakes repaired. It could also mean that there is an issue with the ABS sensors on the brake. Sometimes, the light may illuminate when the parking brake is engaged. If this is the reason, it is encouraged to fully release the parking brake. If the problem does not go away, make sure to get it diagnosed and repaired.
Noises Coming from the Wheel
If there is a squeal that sounds like sandpaper rubbing together, that is probably the sound of the brake pad. This means that the pads are worn down, requiring replacement. This is a warning to replace the brake pads before the rotors start to go bad, which can be more expensive to fix. If there is a grinding sound when the vehicle is in motion, there can be a few reasons. It could mean that there is debris or a rock stuck in the caliper, which is an easy fix. If not, then the rotors may need to be replaced. If the rotors are bad, more likely than not the brake pads will need to be replaced. Last, the grinding can also be from a lack of lubrication in certain vehicles with rear drum brakes. The brake shoe (the part of the drum that presses on the actual rotor to stop the vehicle) could be scraping. It is highly recommended to replace these parts as soon as possible.
Uneven Braking, Vibrations, Wobbling or Scraping When Slowing Down
The vibration or shaking in a steering wheel when braking is predominately the fault of an uneven rotor. Rotors are the big disc-assemblies that are inside of the wheel. When braking, the pads mesh with the rotors, which slows the vehicle down. The rotors should be smooth to touch. If they are not smooth, then the rotor will either have to be resurfaced or replaced (one axle has to be replaced if there is one rotor that needs replacement). Another reason for rough braking is the caliper not being released properly. Due to the wear from road debris or heat, the piston inside the caliper may become sticky. This means that the caliper will not retract the pads fully.
If the brake pedal feels soft, the fluid could be leaking from the master cylinder (or somewhere else in the brake system). The master cylinder is the power unit from the brake pedal to the brakes on the vehicle. There is a container of brake fluid in it needed for the car to brake. When the brakes are applied, the fluid is pushed through the brake piping. This is known as hydraulic pressure. If the fluid is leaking, there won’t be enough force for the pads to clamp the rotors (like the vehicle is turned off).
Burning Smell When the Vehicle is in Motion
If the car smells like it is releasing chemical odors when driving, there could be a problem with the brakes. Overheated brakes come from repeated hard braking on inclined/declined roads. It is imperative to check the vehicle’s parking brake. Make sure it is detached. It is important to let the vehicle’s brake cool down by letting the car sit for a few minutes. If not, there is a risk that the wheels will set on fire because of the brakes.
For guarantee, excellence, and great value in automotive repairs in Asheville, you can count on Mostly Automotive. To learn more about the signs of bad brakes, or to schedule an appointment, Mostly Automotive can be reached at 828-253-4981.