Have you ever been driving and heard a squealing sound that stops when you apply the brakes? This is one of several signs you need new brakes. The brakes undergo wear and tear every time you apply them. How quickly the brake pads need to be replaced depends on a number of factors. Hitting the brakes all the time, driving in stop-and-go traffic and a larger/heavier vehicle can all cause brakes to wear out quicker. Read on to learn more about the braking system and some of the common signs you need brake repair.

Before we go further, if you ever have a concern about whether or not your brakes are working properly, have us check them out for you in our auto repair shop in Fort Collins, CO. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to being able to stop your vehicle. Brake problems can sometimes result in limited or no braking ability. In addition to the safety issues associated with poorly operating brakes, if you don’t take care of brake issues right away, you’ll end up having a much higher repair bill.

A Brake Job is Necessary When These Things Occur

  1. If the brake warning light comes on and stays on, there’s a serious problem with the braking system. How can you tell that it’s a serious problem? Warning lights that are “red” in color are alerting you to a critical problem. It’s important to note that, in some vehicles, the brake warning light is the same one used to alert you when the emergency brake is engaged. If you put the emergency brake on when you stopped the vehicle, make sure to disengage it before you start to drive. If the emergency brake isn’t on, but the brake warning light is on, you need to have the braking system checked right away. Do not drive your vehicle. Instead, have it towed to Campus Repair.
  2. There’s a high-pitched squealing sound when you drive that goes away when the brakes are applied. This is often a symptom of the wear indicators on the pads that are made to alert you it’s time for new brake pads.
  3. You hear scraping or grinding noises from metal-to-metal contact. Quite often, this sound is coming from brake pads that no longer have any pad left on them so the metal is scraping on and grinding into the rotor. You should have the brakes repaired immediately.
  4. You need to use extra pressure to apply the brakes. This is also known as “hard pedal.” Often times increased brake effort is due to lack of power assist by the brake booster. Brake boosters can run off of engine vacuum or power steering fluid. Again, have your brakes repaired immediately.
  5. If the brakes feel spongy or soft when you apply them, you are experiencing “soft pedal.” Your braking ability is definitely hindered, and it could be occurring because of air that’s entered the brake lines, brake lines that have gone bad, worn calipers or a master cylinder that needs to be replaced. Have the brakes inspected and repaired right away.

If you suspect there is a problem with your braking system, don’t wait to act. The technicians at Campus Repair in Fort Collins, Colorado, will inspect the braking system. During the brake inspection, we will look at the brake pads to see how much life is left on them. We will also check for evidence of rough spots or damage and will inspect the brake lines to make sure they are in good condition. Call or stop by the shop today.