When it comes to assessing how much your brakes have worn, stopping distance is only one factor to consider. While it's certainly true that old brakes won't allow you to stop as quickly as new brakes, it can often be difficult to gauge this response. For example, if you're thinking that your stopping distance is larger than usual, you could easily write off the problem to not pressing the brakes hard enough. There are other obvious signs of break wear that can be easier to discern. If you encounter any of these problem and especially if you notice multiple issues at the same time, make sure to schedule a brake job at your local auto service shop right away.
Squealing Or Crunching Noises Upon Applying Your Brakes
In dry conditions, brakes should essentially operate quietly. However, when you have varying stages of brake wear, you can often expect to hear one of two noises. Brakes have metal tabs, often called "squealers," built into them to alert you to the fact that the brake pads are wearing out. When the pads reach a certain degree of wear, the squealers will rub on the rotors and make a high-pitched noise to alert you to the problem. If you've previously ignored this sound and the brakes have worn further, it's common to hear a crunching sound; this sound suggests that the brake pads are very thin.
Difficulty Keeping Vehicle Straight While Braking
Brakes that are in optimal condition should be able to stop your car in a straight line without you needing to steer. While you shouldn't ever attempt to release the steering wheel during braking, you should have an idea of whether or not you need to exert any pressure on the wheel to keep your vehicle straight. If you find that you're needing to do so, it often indicates that the brakes on one side of the vehicle are worn more than those on the other side, giving you an inconsistent braking response.
Lurching Feeling While You Brake
If you apply the brakes and feel that the vehicle seems to lurch as it decreases in speed, this is another sign of the need for a brake job. This lurching or pulsing sensation typically suggests that your rotors have experienced warping due to their consistent exposure to high heat. When warped, they don't provide a consistent surface for the pads, hence the lurching feeling.
For more information, contact Auto Team Car Care Center LLC or a similar location.