Troubleshooting Common Problems With a Car's Brakes

Your car's brakes don't need to go out completely for them to need repairs or replacement of certain parts. Very often there are signs that a car's brakes are failing, but too often a car owner will overlook these signs and in turn, put themselves at risk when on the road or face even more extensive repairs down the road. Note a few tips for troubleshooting common problems with a car's brakes and what parts may need repair or replacement.

1. Tires or pedal shaking as you brake

If one tire seems to shake or vibrate as you brake, this is often a sign that the brake pads have worn down on that side, or the rotors are worn. Brake pads squeeze against the rotors, which are large round plates inside the tires. If the rotors have worn spots, the tire will shake and vibrate as the brake pads run over that worn part. If the brake pads are worn, they won't squeeze the rotors evenly and in turn, the tire may vibrate or shake. Note which tire seems to be vibrating or shaking when you brake and tell your mechanic about this.

The brake pedal itself may also shake when you apply it for the same reason. The brake pedal will sense how tightly the pads are squeezing the rotors, and when the braking system shakes, the pedal will shake and vibrate as well.

2. Loud squealing as you brake

Squealing often results from metal on metal, and you shouldn't hear this when you apply your car's brakes. Brake fluid should provide enough lubrication to keep your brakes from squealing as they squeeze those rotors. Other than low brake fluid, a brake pad may be slipping out of place. If it doesn't press against the rotors on the outside edge as it should, it may cause this squealing noise. If ignored, the brake pad can slide out of place completely and become wedged against the rotors, causing your car to slam to a stop.

3. Car pulls to one side as you brake

In some cases this can be because of a tire that needs inflating or poor alignment, but it can also be worn brake pads on that side of the car. That particular tire is not being slowed down as much as the other tires, so the car will pull in that direction. If the tire on that side is properly inflated and your car doesn't pull to that side when you let go of the steering wheel, the brakes need to be checked.

If you have specific questions about how your car's brakes are functioning, talk with a mechanic at a shop like Stopmaster Brake Service Pty Ltd.