Top Signs It’s Time to Visit Your Brake Shop
Visiting your friendly neighborhood brake shop might not be your idea of a good time, but sometimes it’s necessary to ensure that you and your passengers are safe on the road. Nevertheless, many drivers ignore the obvious warnings that it’s time for a brake inspection and service.
So much more than discs, drums and pads, your vehicle’s brake system is a complex series of sensors, lines and mechanical components. If one component weakens or fails, you may be left without the ability to safely stop your car. Read on to learn a little more about your brakes and how to recognize the warning signs that indicate potential failure.
Get to Know Your Car’s Brakes
Your car’s brakes essentially work by using friction to convert the vehicle’s running energy to heat. When you hit the pedal to stop, the master cylinder sends brake fluid to individual wheel cylinders, which in turn makes the calipers on the metallic brake pads or shoes squeeze the rotors and drums. Heat and friction are produced, slowing the spinning wheels. As you can imagine, this is a violent physical reaction that, when repeated again and again over time, can easily wear down both mechanical and electrical portions of the system.
Your car’s manufacturer recommends a schedule for inspection and replacement; however, it’s possible that you may experience a problem prior to that time. If you can recognize the signs of a problem, you cannot only help ensure your vehicle’s safety, but also save yourself a hefty repair bill.
Watch for These Early Warning Signs
One of the best ways to identify a potential problem is to monitor your car’s level of brake fluid. Under normal operation, it may need to be topped off now and again, but the level should not drop significantly. If you develop a leak somewhere in the system, you’ll notice a sudden or dramatic drop in the fluid level.
Watch also for any change in the color or smell of your fluid. Normal fluid is almost clear with a slight golden tint and no strong smell. If yours appears dark or has a burned odor, it’s time to visit the repair shop. Next, test the pedal. If it feels spongy, if it goes further to the floor than it used to or if you must pump the pedal repeatedly to stop, have your vehicle inspected by a professional.
More Overt Indicators of a Problem
You probably can recognize some of the more obvious signs of a problem. For example, if the brakes make a high-pitched squeal or chirping sound when you push the pedal, this is an indicator of pad deterioration. If your car pulls to one side when you attempt to stop, or if the steering wheel shakes, you likely have either a brake problem or something is wrong with your car’s alignment. And, of course, if the “check brake” warning indicator illuminates, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. It won’t.
Catching any potential problem early will save you money and keep you safe. Ignoring the warning signs may leave you stranded by the side of the road, or worse, in an accident. Contact the certified automotive repair technicians at Viking Automotive, serving Midvale, Utah, and the surrounding communities. Locally owned and operated, Viking will have you back on the road in no time, with peace of mind and a safe ride. Drop by anytime you notice a warning sign that may indicate you need brake shop services.
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