Defective brakes are a leading cause of car accidents. Such accidents can be fatal if braking is required at high speeds. To save you from a nasty accident, here are a number of ways that you can monitor your brakes for faults.
Don’t Ignore Warning Lights
If your brake warning light comes on, it’s worth visiting a repair centre immediately to diagnose the problem. It could mean that the ABS is no longer working or that there’s some other kind of defect. Occasionally, warning lights can be faulty and they do sometimes come on for no apparent problem. This can be dangerous as it could prevent you from being alerted when a real brake problem occurs – take heed and consider getting the warning light fixed.
Know the Warning Sounds
Screeching or squealing brakes is never a healthy sign. If this is happening every time you brake, it may be likely that your brake pads are worn out. This could make your brakes less effective and wear out your tires and suspension. Make a trip to the mechanics if you keep hearing screeching or squealing sounds every time you apply your brakes.
Know the Warning Smells
A burning smell coming from the tires could also be a sign of a serious brake problem. This smell can appear quickly and it’s best that you pull over as soon it is safe to do so and ring an emergency vehicle repair company. A burning smell could be an indication of many other faults so you should never ignore it.
Test your Brake Fluid
Your brake fluid needs to be topped up regularly and it can also benefit from occasional testing. Water can sometimes get into the brake fluid chamber and dilute the mixture; thus causing braking to become less effective. You can shop around online for the best brake fluid tester or you can get your brake fluid tested by a mechanic during your routine servicing. Make sure that you’re also putting the right fluid into your car as certain vehicles may only take a specific type of brake fluid – put the wrong liquid in and you could end up with lots of problems.
Check your Pedal
It’s important to also keep a note of how your brake pedal feels. Soft and spongy is never a good sign – ideally, a brake should feel firm, although not so firm that it feels like you’re doing a leg press. Consider how far your foot has to go down to the floor before the brakes start to kick in. Over time, the pedal may wear and the brakes may become less responsive. If you often have to slam your foot down to the floor each time, it is clearly dangerous and should be seen to by a mechanic. Make sure that the pedal itself is also in good condition so that your foot still has a good grip on it.