5 Brake Warning Signs

Your brakes will send you signs when they are getting too old and need maintenance and repair. Your Buddy Steve’s Garage works with all types of braking systems, including manual, power, and anti-lock brakes. If you notice any of the five following warnings below, bring your automobile into our shop as soon as you can. Your brake system helps keep you safe on the road, and you don’t want to take chances with a worn-down braking system that could affect your ability to stop your car.

Brake Light

One of your vehicle’s dashboard warnings lights is a brake light and it will shine for two reasons. The first reason is you’ve set your parking brake; the second reason is there is something wrong with your brake system. The warning could signal you have low brake fluid or that your brake system computer sensor is returning an error to your car, truck, or SUV’s onboard computer chip.

Auditory Signals

Your brakes will also make noises if they need maintenance or repair. For example, your brakes might squeal or squeak if there is something wrong with the rotors or calipers. They may also squeal while you drive if the brake pad surfaces are getting too low. Your brakes will also grind when there is dirt caught in the caliper(s) or when your brake pad material is completely worn off.

Pedal Issues

You should feel a firm brake pedal underneath your foot whenever you use it. It should resist your pressure once it’s 1 1/2 inches from the floor if you have automatic brakes and 3 inches from the floor is you have manual brakes. Your brake system is hydraulic, and if there is something wrong with the system, such as air bubbles in the brake lines, you’ll feel it in the brake pedal. It will sink and feel mushy.

Burning Odors

When your brakes get too hot, they will smell like burning electrical insulation or plastic. If you notice this smell, pull over to safety and stop your vehicle. Hot smells mean something is overheating on your automobile and if the overheating gets too hot, your vehicle could catch on fire. If the brakes are overheating, your brake fluid might reach boiling point at which point it won’t be able to stop your car.

Leaking Brake Fluid

Finally, auburn or dark brown fluid on our garage floor could be brake fluid or motor oil. Dab some of the fluid onto your finger and rub your finger against your thumb. If the fluid feels super-greasy or oily, it’s actually brake fluid and not motor oil. If the leak is bad, don’t drive your vehicle because your car, truck, or SUV cannot stop without brake fluid. If it’s just a few tiny spots, head to the mechanic.

Your Buddy Steve’s Garage in Croydon, PA, would be happy to inspect your brakes. Call us at 267-214-2970 to set up an appointment.