If you have noticed that your car is taking a little longer than normal to come to a complete stop, you may decide to have the brakes looked at during your vehicle's next service call. However, if you notice the following signs whenever you step on the brakes, do not wait to have them inspected since the brakes may have substantial damage that makes driving with them dangerous.
1. You Hear Grinding Noises Whenever You Apply the Brakes
Normally, when you step on the brakes, the calipers make the brake pads create friction when they press the pads up against the brake rotors. Over time, these pads will wear down, and they are usually replaced after the mileage recommended for your car's make and model or during routine service calls.
However, if the pads become worn before they are replaced, there is no longer enough cushioning to keep the metal of the calipers from scraping the metal of the rotors. When you apply the brakes, you will hear a grinding noise as the calipers dig into the rotors.
Not only will this greatly impact your car's ability to stop, but the damage to both the calipers and rotors will become more severe as they continue to dig into one another. Eventually, the brakes will not have the ability to create enough friction to stop your car.
2. Applying the Brakes Makes Your Car Shake
Another sign that your car's brakes need immediate repairs is a shaking sensation that you may feel every time you apply the brakes. This shaking could be caused by one of two problems.
First, as discussed in the previous section, the shaking could be caused by the calipers grinding into the rotors. Since gouges are made into the metal, there is no even surface on which the calipers can grip.
Second, the brake rotors or the calipers may be loose. Even if the pads are still in good condition, loose parts will cause uneven braking, and thus, cause the entire vehicle to shake. These loose parts will need to be tightened or replaced as soon as possible to avoid having them fly off while you are driving.
If you notice either of the above signs, do not delay in having your car's brakes inspected since these signs indicate a serious problem. Take your car to an auto service that provides brake repair services so that they can inspect your braking system to determine the issue and take the necessary action to get you safely back on the road.