Reasons Your Brakes Can Go Bad
Every car needs regular brake maintenance, ideally before it starts to go bad. However, sometimes poor brake performance can sneak up on you with grinding or less-than-stellar brake response time when you hit the brake pedal at a stop sign. If you're noticing poor brake performance, don't wait to bring it in, especially since your failure to address any of the three reasons brakes go bad can lead to brake failure.
You Need New Brake Pads
There are ways to tell that brake pads have gone bad before you can go in to replace them. The first sign you need new brake pads is the sound of screeching or grinding when you hit the brakes. You could also be noticing that your car doesn't stop right away. If any of these things occur, they're likely spongy or worn down to be less than a quarter inch thick. Brake pad replacement is an easy way to get your brake performance back to normal, but only when you bring it in to be replaced.
You Need Your Brake Rotors Fixed
Brake rotors can start to wear down and warp or even break and crack, leaving you at risk for possible brake failure. Before that happens, your rotors will show signs that it's time for them to be replaced. You could notice that your brake pedal, steering wheel, or seat starts vibrating as you hit the brakes. Or, your brake pedal could wobble or shake as you press down on it. Either way, proper contact isn't being made with the brake pads and rotors for a safe and steady stop of your vehicle.
You’re Low On Brake Fluid
You might notice a brake fluid light on your dashboard when your brake fluid starts to get too low, but you might notice a leak coming from your tires, too. If you see a puddle coming from one of your tires and the fluid looks cloudy, discolored, or dirty, it's a tell-tale sign that you're low on brake fluid. Low brake fluid leads to gaps of air in your brake line, and when that happens, your brakes will start to be "spongy" or soft. Having spongy brake pedals is dangerous, so you should bring them in the second you notice any type of issue.