Brakes are arguably one of the most important safety components of your car. In an ideal world, they would work perfectly forever without needing repair, but unfortunately wear and tear can take a toll on your brakes and compromise their safety. Drivers should be aware of their vehicle’s health and watch out for warning signs of degrading brakes. Here are 5 common signs of brake problems:

  1. The Brake Light is On. Some vehicles have warning lights to alert their drivers when it is time for inspection or repair. If you see this light, check your parking brake and ensure it is not accidentally engaged while you are driving. If the light remains on, your brakes need immediate professional attention.

  2. Squealing and Grinding. As unpleasant as it is, the loud squealing sounds produced when brake pads wear down are a great warning sign for drivers, and anyone else in earshot, that your brakes need service. Don’t wait for squealing to degrade into the sound of grinding, which occurs when brake pads are completely worn out. Driving with no brake pads is dangerous. Grinding is your sign that it’s time for a tow!

  3. Wobbling or Vibrating. A smooth driving car is usually a happy and healthy one. If your car is experiencing brake rotor issues, you may feel vibrations in the steering wheel or wobbling on the road. Rotors can wear down unevenly over time, resulting in vibrations and wobbly performance.

  4. The Brake Pedal is Spongy. When you press the pedal, you should feel instant resistance translating to stop your car. When brakes need attention, you may notice softness in the pedal that absorbs the pressure from your foot like a sponge. The pedal should not meet the floor when you step on it, but if it does, that is a clear signal that air or moisture has affected the braking system.

  5. Fluid is Leaking. A soft or spongy brake pedal may be caused by fluid loss from the cylinder system. You and your auto technician can watch out for fluid leaks to identify possible problems in the braking system.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, please call us at 541-753-4444 to speak with one of our friendly services advisors, or visit our shop at 855 SW Western Blvd in Corvallis.