Detecting Brake Problems
Early Detection of Braking Issues
Any problems with brake performance or any strange sounds or smells that come from the brakes need to be investigated as soon as possible. Never be tempted to put this off as not only could the problem get worse, it could mean you are putting your life in danger. In addition, waiting often leads to repairs being more extensive, with parts eventually needing replacement, which inevitably leads to higher costs.
This article points out the common warning signs that your brakes need attention so you can deal with them before they cause you major problems.
The brake warning light comes on
This is an obvious sign that there is a problem and one that you should not ignore. If the brake warning indicator light comes on it may simply be that the brakes are due to be serviced, but it could be that there is a problem with the system’s overall function. Always remember that this light also shows if you leave your handbrake on, so check this is fully released before assuming that there is a more serious problem.
There is a smell of burning
Any kind of strong burning smell coming from your car needs investigating immediately so be sure to go to your local garage. Strange odours and the smell of burning is never a good sign and it could mean you have a problem with the brakes. The number one priority is to make sure that you are not driving an unsafe vehicle so take it straight in for a check. If the smoke is coming from the wheel you could have a seized brake caliper, this means the car is no longer safe to drive and must be repaired.
If you hear grinding when you apply the brakes you may simply have some gravel stuck inside which is a very easy problem to resolve. However, it can also mean that the brake pads have worn out and this is grinding on the disk. This can be dangerous and is certainly more expensive. Make sure you visit your garage as soon as you notice this to have the brakes checked and, if necessary, replaced.
A soft or ‘spongy’ brake pedal
Once you have experienced this you will know exactly what ‘spongy’ means. If you haven’t then look out for a brake pedal that feels a lot softer with a lot less resistance. This is always a sign that the brakes need attention. Sometimes it can be a simple problem like some air or water has entered the system, but it could be something more serious so make sure you get it professionally checked.
At Birchwood MOT, we specialise in conducting periodic checks on vehicles. If you’re in the Birchwood Warrington area and have a brake problem that needs investigating or you need brake maintenance make a reservation online today and receive a free vehicle service check or for further information on our services you can get in touch with us by calling 019253 30468 or alternatively you can email us.