When BRAKES Talk, Drivers Should Listen
When it comes to driving safely, it’s easy to take your vehicle’s ability to stop for granted – until you really need it. Your brakes often reveal possibly serious situations when they make noise, pull, vibrate or feel soft. Smooth, quiet braking is determined in large part by the proper fit and compatibility of the brake caliper, pad and rotor. Having an ASE certified technician install premium parts may cost a bit more up front, but they help provide noise- and vibration-free operation and longer pad life on today’s cars and trucks.
Brake Squealing or Groaning
Squealing noises may indicate there is a problem. You have the brakes checked out by an ASE certified technician. In some instances, however, brake squealing indicates the pads are worn down and those squeaking wear indicators are doing their job.
The abrasive nature of many traditional brake pads against the rotor may also cause squealing. Low quality rotors could be the noise culprit, as well. Neither of these situations is ideal, but the resulting noise is more annoying than anything else.
Groaning noises also can be caused by low quality or abrasive brake pads. Squealing and groaning can both be minimized by installing premium brake system components.
Pulling and Vibrating
When your brakes are applied and the vehicle pulls to one side, low tire pressure may be at fault. But, it can also mean a brake caliper is sticking, leaking or not sliding properly due to corrosion. This can lead to uneven brake pad and rotor wear, reducing the life of the pads and causing steering wheel judder or vibration.
The rotor may be able to be machined smooth, but this is not a long-term fix. A corroded caliper or rotor may need to be replaced. Our ASE certified technicians can assess the situation and fix it right the first time.
When air or water gets into the brake system, you may experience a soft-pedal feel. Improper bleeding and general corrosion are typically the culprits. Air in the system forces you to push harder on the brake pedal than normal to stop. Water can adversely affect caliper performance by causing brake fluid to boil prematurely. This can result in a significant loss of stopping power. It is best to have the brake fluid changed as recommended.
You can learn a lot by paying attention to what your brakes are saying. It can be a key to being both safe on the road – and with your money.