Six Signs My Car’s Brakes Are Having Trouble

You don’t need us here at Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair to tell you how important your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s brake system is. Can you imagine what would happen if you couldn’t stop your automobile? We strive to ensure our customers never experience the fear of losing their brakes. Regular brake maintenance, including inspections every 12,000 miles, helps prevent the following problems.

1. Brake Vibration/Wobbling

Vibration or wobbling can be a sign that your rotors are warped, that the brake pads have worn out, or that you have a piece of road debris stuck in one or more of the calipers. Your vehicle shouldn’t vibrate or wobble nor should it change directions when you apply the brakes.

2. Burning Carpet/Chemical Odors

Burning carpet or chemical odors alerts you to the fact that the brakes are overheating. Your brakes will also squeal every time you use them when they are in this condition. When the brakes get too hot, they cannot generate the friction they need to slow down and stop your automobile.

3. Dashboard Warning Lights

Your vehicle is equipped with dashboard warning lights for the anti-lock brake system and the parking brake. If something goes wrong with the anti-lock brake system, the ABS light will illuminate on the dashboard. If you set the parking brake or you don’t have an anti-lock brake system, the Brake light will illuminate on the dashboard if there is a problem.

4. Leaking Brown or Red Fluid

If you see red or brown spots around your wheels on the garage floor, this is an indication that your brake system is leaking. There are two primary locations from where the brake fluid can leak: the master cylinder and the brake lines. Low brake fluid can also prevent your vehicle from stopping.

5. Scraping/Squealing Noises

As we mentioned above, squealing noises are one sign that your brakes are overheating. They are also a sign that your brake pads are wearing out and need to be replaced. If you ignore the squealing sounds, you will eventually hear a scraping or grinding noise. This means you have no brake pad surface left.

6. Soft or Spongy Brake Pedal

Finally, if your brake pedal feels soft or spongy underneath your foot, you might have a problem with the master cylinder or air in the brake lines. It’s important that you bring your vehicle to our shop right away, as the pedal might sink all the way to the floor without slowing down your automobile.

We are Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair in St. George, UT, and we would be happy to inspect your brake system if you are experiencing any of the issues discussed above.

Photo by BartekSzewczyk from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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