First things first: If your brake light comes on and stays on, there is something wrong with your brake system. It should only stay on when you have the parking brake set. You might also see an “ABS” dashboard warning light, and this means your anti-lock braking system is returning an error. Don’t take chances. Bring your vehicle into DOC Auto for a brake inspection to avoid dangerous driving conditions.
Brake System Sounds
You should never hear your brakes and if you do, your vehicle is suffering from brake problems. Using a very basic explanation, your car, truck, or SUV’s brake system works as follows:
- You press on the brake pedal
- A lever in the pedal pushes a master cylinder piston
- The piston releases brake fluid
- The fluid presses brake calipers against the brake pads
- The brake pads press against brake discs or drums
- This causes friction
- Friction converts to kinetic energy on the brake pads
- The kinetic energy stops the vehicle
This is a very basic explanation but you get the idea. If you press on the brake pedal and you hear squealing or grinding, there is something wrong with your brake pads, usually that they’re worn.
If your calipers, discs, and/or drums are at issue, you may feel your brake pedal vibrate when you depress it. You may also feel vibration in your steering wheel but only when you brake. If you feel vibration in your steering wheel at other times, your wheels are likely out of alignment.
Brake Pedal Resistance
Another sign your vehicle is having brake problems is a difference in the feel of your brake pedal when you use it. You might feel it sink lower than normal when you put your foot on it or it may sink all the way to the floor. This is a sign you have air in your brake lines. It’s also a sign of trouble with the brake master cylinder. If it takes more effort to stop your vehicle, there’s a problem with the brake system.
Finally, two other things to look for are fluid leaks on your garage floor or burning smells coming from your brakes. If you notice either of these things, bring your car, truck, or SUV into DOC Auto in Fredericksburg, VA. If you live near Chatham Heights Road, call our shop there. For those who would prefer to schedule a service visit at our Courthouse Road shop, call us at that shop.