Your brakes are one of the most important components on your vehicle. Without good brakes, you lose your ability to slow down and properly control your vehicle when you drive. Luckily, your vehicle will give you some warning signs before your brakes stop working. Just be sure that you are on the look-out for these signs:
#1 Loud Squeaking Sound
Your brakes are made out of multiple layers. The very last layer on most brakes is a metal layer. When you get down to this metal layer, that means that your brakes are really worn out. You will know when your brakes get to this metal layer because of the sound your vehicle will make. Every time you hit the brakes, you will hear a loud squeaking sound or the scratching sound of metal on metal.
This sound is produced when your now-exposed and worn down brake pads come into contact with your rotors. If your brakes are this worn down, you really need to get them replaced as soon as possible.
#2 Brake Warning Light
Your brakes actually use fluid to work effectively. Your brakes use a hydraulic system that allows your brakes to kick in and work properly. This system depends upon brake fluid. When your brakes are working properly, the brake fluid should remain consistent. You should not really lose brake fluid.
If the warning light for brake fluid comes on, get to your mechanic right away. You need the proper amount of fluid in your brake system in order for your brakes to work. That warning light could also mean that there is a leak in your brake lines that needs to be addressed right away. Leaking brake fluid is a very dangerous situation.
#3 Vehicle Shakes When Braking
Another serious sign that your brakes need to be repaired is shaking when you brake. This usually happens when you brake at high speeds, such as when you are going down the exit ramp from the freeway. You are less likely to feel your vehicle shake when braking when you slow down while rolling through town at 30 m.p.h.
When your vehicle starts to shake when you break, it is because the rotors are really worn down. Instead of being flat, your rotors now have grooves in them that cause your brakes to skip over the rotors as you brake, instead of making continuous contact with your rotors. This is why you feel your vehicle shake when you brake, and it is more noticeable the higher the speed you are trying to brake from.
If your vehicle starts to squeak or shake when you break, or the brake fluid warning light comes on, it is time to get your brakes checked out. Contact a company like George's Eastside Shell for more information and assistance.