Five Signs That Your Brakes Need Servicing

Posted on: 21 April 2021

Brakes are likely the most important safety component of your car. Knowing the signs that you need the brakes looked at is very important.

1. Loud Squealing

Your ears may be the first to clue you into a potential brake problem. As brake pads wear down, a squealing noise develops. If the culprit is truly the brakes, then the noise only occurs when you are pressing down on the brake pedal, not at any other time the car is in operation. Usually, the harder you depress the pedal, the more obvious the noise is. If ignored, the squealing may slowly turn into a grinding noise, which means that your brakes are likely going to fail soon.

2. Shuddering Upon Stops

Failing brakes may also make themselves obvious in the steering wheel. If the wheel feels like it shudders when you depress the brake pedal, then there is likely uneven wear on the pads or the rotors. Servicing is needed to determine which parts are causing the shuddering so that they can be repaired or replaced. In some cases, you may also feel shuddering in the pedal. It will worsen the harder you depress the pedal.

3. Full Pedal Depression

Rarely is it necessary to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor. Usually, gentle pressure is all that is needed to bring the car to a gentle stop. If you find yourself fully depressing the pedal no matter how slowly you come to a stop, there is a problem. It could simply be that the pads have worn down to the point where replacement is necessary. More alarming is that there could be a loss of pressure in the brake lines, possibly due to a fluid leak. Servicing the car can fix both issues.

4. Slow Braking

Slow braking can sneak up on you as it develops gradually over time. You may not notice that it has become a problem until something causes you to slam on the brake pedal. Instead of coming to an abrupt stop, as you are accustomed to, it may take longer than expected for the vehicle to come to a full stop. At this point, the brakes are in desperate need of servicing as it has become a safety issue.

5. Smoke and Odours

It should go without saying that your brakes shouldn't smoke. If they do, then something is causing the wrong sort of friction — likely a worn-out brake pad — which can be dangerous. Odours such as smoke or sulphur are another sign that the pads have worn through and that servicing and brake replacement is needed.

Contact a car servicing professional if you suspect that your brakes need to be repaired or replaced.