Signs That Your Car Needs Brake Service

Because your car's brakes wear gradually, brake problems also tend to develop gradually. As a result, you may not notice the changes that indicate your car's brakes are worn until it becomes a serious problem. The sooner you recognize the need for auto brake service, the safer you will be on the road. Here's a look at a few of the most common signs that mean you should get your car to a brake service shop right away.

Braking Noises

When you push the brake pedal, you shouldn't hear any odd noises from your brakes. They should function smoothly and effectively to stop your car. If you're hearing squealing, grinding, squeaking, or similar sounds from your brakes, you'll need to get into a brake repair shop right away.

These sounds are usually indications of brake pad wear or rotor issues. You'll need to have the brakes inspected to determine the source of the problem and repair it. Brake pads can easily be replaced, and rotors may be turned or replaced completely.

Soft Brakes

When you step on the brake pedal, it should be firm and consistent as it engages the brakes. There should be some resistance beneath your foot. If you step on the pedal and it feels soft or "spongy" under your foot, that's a sign that there's a problem with your brake lines, brake fluid pressure, or brake system.

If there's air in the lines of your brakes, sometimes this can cause a spongy feeling. The air disrupts the hydraulic pressure that's necessary in the brake lines for your brakes to function as they should. Your brake service technician can isolate the source of the air intrusion, repair it, and bleed the brake system to remove any residual air pockets.

Thumping Or Vibration

If you engage your brakes only to be met with vibration and thumping under your feet, that could be an indication of a couple of different brake problems. Sometimes, it's a sign of wear and damage to the brake pads and rotors. If friction develops because of that wear and damage, it can cause a stuttery response from your brakes.

In other cases, what you're feeling could be the ABS system engaging. This sometimes happens if one or more of the ABS sensors are failing. Have a brake service technician inspect and test your ABS system to see if that is the source of the problem. ABS sensors are easy to replace and should resolve the issue.