How To Tell If Your Brakes Are Going Bad

Even if you can't fix your brakes by yourself you can usually determine if they are in need of repairs.

Troubleshooting car problems can be difficult if you've had no training. Professionals charge a lot of money and when you don't know much about the subject it's easy for some to take advantage of you. When certain things on a car break, like a door handle, you may be able to postpone the repairs until a better time. Not true with some car parts. Certain repairs require immediate attention. When brakes go bad on a car it's a dangerous thing. Not only are the passengers of the car at risk but so are pedestrians and other drivers. Some people put off having brakes fixed thinking that they'll get a little more mileage out of them. Others decide that they'll drive just a little slower and it'll be okay for awhile. This is just tempting fate. Brakes should be replaced the moment you suspect there is something wrong with them. Actually, regular check-ups for your car should include testing the brakes to make sure they are good. Manuals usually suggest a certain time period for having brakes replaced and that's a good idea. Fixing brakes before they go out is the safe way to go.

One minute you can think your brakes are fine but the next, particularly on a rainy day, you could find yourself unable to stop as quickly as you once could. Another initial warning sign that brakes are going to soon need replaced is that you suddenly have to pump them before you can stop. Even if you have to pump the brakes only once, it's time to have them replaced. Pumping the brakes takes too long when you have to make an immediate stop, risking rear-end collisions with the car in front. Before deciding on new brakes check the brake fluid to make sure you're not low. If the brake fluid is low fill it up and pump the brakes several times while the car is running. Drive the car slowly in a safe place, like an empty parking lot, to see if they have improved.

A slight sound coming from the wheel area of the car could indicate that the brakes are going bad. The sound will become louder as the brakes become worse and worse. The sound can begin as a ticking sound or can be a grinding sound. Sometimes a squeal when you hit the brakes is the tell-tale sign that they're bad.



If you stop your car and get out and you happen to notice that there is some smoke coming from the wheel this is not a good sign. Do not drive the car any further. The brakes must be fixed immediately.

You could take your car to have new brakes put on just to find out that instead of needing brakes you only need a brake line. An honest mechanic can fix that problem with little expense but some mechanics might try to charge an unknowing customer for an entire brake job. Learning to spot leaking brake fluid yourself can come in handy. After leaving your car by the curb or in your driveway overnight drive the car forward a few feet then check the road for brake fluid. The spot will look fresh and wet. It might be a small amount but that's enough to leave your brakes functioning poorly.

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