Signs It’s Time to Service Your Brakes

 In About Cars, Car Maintenance, Car Repair, Driving Tips

Is it time to service your brakes? They are critical for your safety on the road, so it is critical you keep any eye — and ear — on them.

Over time, brake components wear down, requiring maintenance or replacement to ensure optimal performance. At Ashland Automotive, we’re here to help you understand the signs that indicate it’s time to replace your brakes.

Squeaking or Grinding Noise

One of the most common customer concerns is a high-pitched squeaking noise when you apply the brakes. This noise can be caused by worn brake pads, poor quality brake pads, improperly installed brake pads, or contamination from road debris. If you’re hearing a grinding noise it can indicate metal-on-metal contact, which is very unsafe, and usually leads to more costly repairs.

Vibrations or Pulsations

If you notice vibrations or pulsations in the brake pedal when you apply pressure, it could indicate warped brake rotors or errors in installation and that it is time to service your brakes. Warped rotors can compromise braking efficiency and should be addressed promptly to avoid further damage.

Soft or Spongy Brake Pedal

A soft or spongy brake pedal that requires excessive pressure to engage the brakes can be a sign of moisture and/or air in the brake lines, or brake fluid leaks. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture right through the plastic reservoir. Since moisture is H2O, the result is tiny air bubbles. Moisture also causes rust and deterioration of the inner parts of hydraulic brake components. The shelf life of brake fluid is two years. If you’ve not replaced it in more than two years, it is time to service your brakes.

Visible Wear on Brake Pads

Brake pads should be inspected by a professional. It’s common for the inner pad to be worn more than the outer. Excessively uneven wear usually means a sticking caliper piston. If the brake pads appear excessively worn, with less than 1/4 inch of pad remaining, they should be replaced. Driving with worn brake pads can increase stopping distances and pose a safety risk.

Dashboard Warning Lights

Modern vehicles are equipped with dashboard warning lights that illuminate when brake system issues are detected. If your brake warning light comes on, schedule an inspection as soon as possible to identify the underlying cause. If your ABS light is on, it means the Anti-Lock Brake System is inoperable, which results in substantially longer stopping distance should you need to stop suddenly. This is definitely a sign you need to service your brakes.

Brake Fluid Leaks

Check for signs of brake fluid leaks beneath your vehicle or around the wheels. Brake fluid leaks can lead to a loss of hydraulic pressure, resulting in reduced braking performance. Leaking brake fluid should be addressed immediately to prevent safety hazards.

We are Here to Service Your Brakes

If you experience any of these signs or suspect brake issues, don’t delay. Contact Ashland Automotive to schedule a comprehensive brake inspection and maintenance service. Our experienced technicians will assess the condition of your brakes, recommend necessary repairs or replacements, and give you the peace-of-mind that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy.

Remember, regular brake inspections and maintenance are essential for preserving your vehicle’s safety and performance. Don’t wait for brake issues to escalate – for peace of mind on the road, trust Ashland Automotive for expert brake services tailored to your vehicle’s needs. Schedule service today at 541-482-4042.

Your safety is our priority!

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