Know When To Get Your Brakes Checked - Look Out For These 5 Signs

From oil to tire pressure and even water levels, there are plenty of checks that we perform as drivers in order to ensure that our cars remain in great working order. Perhaps the most important component that we often forget about is our car's brakes. While brakes are expected to last a long time and are therefore not checked on a regular basis, neglecting this crucial area of a car can be life-threatening — especially when a potential collision is on the cards. In order to keep you both safe as you enjoy your ride, here are five vital signs that indicate that a brake check is in order.

Strange sounds

One of the most obvious signs of brake issues is when you start hearing peculiar sounds when engaging with your brakes. These high-pitched squeals are typically emitted by a small indicator in your braking system. If you ignore or fail to hear this sound for too long, the issue may gradually worsen until the squeal gets replaced by a harsh grinding. By this stage, you'll have gone all the way through your brake pads, with the metal of the calipers grinding against the rotors. If this happens, what was initially an inexpensive and routine repair will become a far more costly job. In order to ensure that you don't miss out on this sound, avoid blasting excessively loud music in your car. While the sound should be loud enough to penetrate through ambient noise, music being played at full volume may drown it out.

Worn pads

Most cars use disc brakes, whereby friction between the brake pads and the rotors slows the car down. Once your brake pads wear thin, however, they'll need to be pushed further inwards in order to make contact with the rotors to stop the car. So, if you feel as if you have to slam your brakes to the floor in order to get them to work, chances are that you have worn pads and will need to get them inspected immediately. This issue is often known as "soft brakes". "Hard brakes", on the other hand, are when your brake pedal feels too stiff to operate. This may mean that there is either a blockage in the brake line or an issue with the vacuum system, in any case, it's just as important to get them fixed as soon as possible.


Does it seem as if your car has a mind of its own? Perhaps it seems to veer left or right when you stomp your foot on the brakes. In this case, there might be an issue with your braking system. Often this issue arises from a stuck caliper. Alternatively, it can be the result of a collapsed brake hose or brake pads that have worn unevenly.


Do you feel a pulsing when applying the brakes of your car? This could be the result of a warped rotor, which vibrates due to its uneven surface when coming into contact with the brake pads. If your car has an anti-lock brake system (ABS), then it could apply when braking suddenly, in which case feeling vibrations are normal. If you happen to feel vibrations or pulsations when braking under regular circumstances, however, then this is an issue that requires immediate attention.