Every car or truck needs to have brakes that slow and stop it reliably and safely. Brakes contribute more to automotive safety than just about any other system, so a failure can be truly dangerous.
Even brakes which still have life left in them can sometimes benefit from some attention. Keeping up with required Brake Service is one of the most important duties for any driver today.
Brakes Show Signs That They Need Service or Replacement
There are many components and systems in the average vehicle that can fail suddenly and without notice. A starter motor or an alternator, for instance, can easily give up the ghost without having ever presented any previous sign of trouble.
That can happen with brakes, as well, but it is by no means the norm. All brakes have limited lifetimes and will eventually need to be serviced, and there are almost always clear signs that this unavoidable moment has arrived.
Drivers who are aware of the most common symptoms of a need for service can count on their brakes with more confidence because of it. Two of the most common signs that a vehicle’s brakes need to be serviced are:
- Squealing. The pads that clamp down on the rotors of brakes wear down slowly over time. When enough material has been removed, specially placed metal filaments on each pad will start squealing as they make contact with the adjacent rotor. That distinctive sound is intended to alert drivers that some service will be needed soon. Ignoring it for too long will mean allowing a vehicle’s brakes to deteriorate beyond safe limits.
- Shuddering. Brakes are meant to slow and stop vehicles smoothly and in easily controllable fashion. When one or more of the rotors in a brake system warps out of alignment, pads will fail to maintain consistent contact with it. That produces a jittery, shuddering feeling under braking which should always be taken as an indication that service is needed.
Responsible Drivers Never Let Brake Problems Fester
Symptoms like these should always be acknowledged with a trip to a local garage or mechanic. Making sure that a vehicle’s brakes get whatever service they might need is one of the best ways to stay safe while driving.