5 Signs You Need Your Brakes Checked


Unless you’re a car mechanic, it’s easy to overlook signs of mechanical distress that your car may be sending you. Fortunately, the car parts that are most crucial to your safety—the brakes—are also the most obvious when something is wrong. Even if you’re less than handy with a wrench, it’s important to pay attention to these 5 signs that your brakes need to be checked:

1. Screeching brake pads

Because the brake system is so important to vehicle safety, it has a built-in alarm system to let you know when the brake pads are wearing down too low. The loud, high-pitched screech you hear when you apply your brakes is the sound of a metal indicator built into the pads scraping against the brakes. When the pad wears down low enough, the metal scraping is saying loud and clear that you need a brake inspection.

2. Grinding sounds

If you ignored the screeching and now you hear heavy grinding or growling when you apply the brakes, it means the pads have worn down completely and you need to get your car to a mechanic ASAP. The grinding is the sound of the metal plate beneath the pads scraping against the rotors, which can eventually melt the metal together and cause your brakes to stick.

3. Vibrating brake pedal

Replacement of brake pads is part of routine car maintenance, but your brake system will also tell you when deeper problems need to be checked out. If your brake pedal vibrates or pulses when you come to a stop, it could mean the rotors are warped. Rotors become warped over time, but also when the metal heats up during excessive braking or slamming on the brakes from high speeds on a regular basis.

4. Stopping too slow or too fast

If you feel like your brakes don’t respond fast enough, or if they are too sensitive and jerk to a stop at the slightest touch, you need to call a mechanic. Slow stopping response is usually the result of a brake fluid leak or air leak in the brake hose, while stopping too fast could mean uneven rotor wear or the need for a brake fluid exchange.

5. Pulling to one side

If your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, the brake linings are probably wearing unevenly, which means they are in need of an adjustment. Another culprit could be foreign matter in the brake fluid, which requires a full fluid drain and replacement.

Your safety depends on a well-maintained brake system

Worn-out brakes can make all the difference in a critical driving situation, so if you’ve experienced any of the above signs when applying your brakes, don’t wait to seek out the services of a professional.  At Chris’s Auto Smog and Repair, we offer the best brake service in San Diego.

Our team of experts is ready to diagnose any vehicle problem and repair it at an affordable price, so give us a call at (858) 270-1888 if you need a brake check in San Diego today.