One of the most important safety components in your car is the brake system. Any kind of problem with this system can be potentially dangerous to your life and to the safety of your car. Routine maintenance is the best way of taking care of your brake system.
Here are a few important aspects of brake maintenance that every car owner needs to know.
Routine Full Brake System Check-up – Why this is Necessary?
Don’t wait to cross a certain mileage number – get a full brake system check-up based on factors such as condition of roads, weather, age of the car, and driving habits.
Why driving habits? Well, if you routinely hit curbs and bumps or speed and brake a lot, it will stress your brake system and soon you might notice performance issues. Your car technician can conduct a check-up at regular oil changes.
If the above-mentioned factors don’t apply, then it is fine to get your brake system checked every 10K miles.
What happens during a routine brake maintenance?
During a regular servicing visit, your car technician will check the condition of the brake pads, brake drums, discs, rotors, the brake lines, the anti-lock brake modules, and the hydraulic components. The entire assembly is cleaned, and necessary repair or replacement work is carried out.
Changing the brake fluid is another critical aspect of routine car maintenance. The brake fluid should be flushed every two years.
Brake fluids absorb moisture and contaminants which can accumulate over time and impact your overall car performance. Changing the brake fluid is necessary for getting rid of the contaminants.
6 Warning Signs of Damage to Your Brake System
If you are regular with your car maintenance, ideally you should not face any major car trouble. This holds true for your brake system as well.
However, as mentioned above, factors such as rough roads or bad weather can lead to brake damage. Here are six signs that all is not well with your brake system.
1. Vibrating Steering or Brake Pedal
A jarring or vibration either on the steering or the brake pedal could indicate brake drum or rotor trouble. The rotors and drums can get warped due to excessive heat.
When this happens, anytime the rotors and drums meet the brake pads, it can lead to a wobbly sensation since the pads are able to connect with a part of the rotor – this is what often leads to the pulsating or vibrating feeling.
2. Grinding, Screeching, or Squealing Noises
Worn our brake pads & shoes can cause these noises. The best way to prevent this from happening is to replace these parts every 20,000 – 60,000 miles.
3. Impaired Brake Pedal Response
If you need to press down harder and keep the brake pedal engaged longer every time you brake, it could be because the brake pad is worn out.
Sometimes, if there is a brake fluid leak, excess air can enter the brake vales leading to an impaired brake pedal response.
4. Car Veers to One Side When Braking
Damage to the brake hose or a possible caliper issue can cause your car to drag to one side while braking. A professional car technician can help identify the exact reason behind this.
5. Brake Warning Lights start Flashing
If your dashboard lights up with the brake warning lights it could be due to a host of reasons such as a brake fluid leak, low brake fluid levels, worn out brake pads, or even a faulty speed sensor. If you are not sure what is causing this, consult with a professional car technician.
6. A Burning Smell or Pungent Odor
A burning or pungent smell from the brake area could be because your car brakes are overheating. This usually happens if you are braking hard or riding the brakes – the friction can lead to the brakes smoking.
If this happens when you are driving down a steep road, it is not entirely uncommon. If this happens during regular driving, it is a cause for concern.
A brake can drag even if the caliper piston is stuck. Alternatively, driving with your parking brake or hand brake on can also cause your brakes to smoke.
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Are you facing any of the above-mentioned brake system damages? Or even if you have any other issues with your car steering, we can help.