You finally saved enough money to buy a used car. Now it's making strange sounds when you put your foot on the brake. Brake problems should not be taken lightly. Here is a quick guide to help you find out what's wrong with your brakes.
Steering Wheel Pulls to the Side
Your car should continue moving forward when you put your foot on the brake pedal. If your steering wheel pulls to one side as you press on the brake pedal, your brakes may be out of adjustment. Driving with your brakes out of adjustment won't damage your car, but it can make your brakes wear out unevenly. If you have a difficult time keeping your car moving in a straight line when you press on the brake pedal, you should schedule a brake inspection.
Distinct Grinding Sound
You put your foot on the brake and you hear a distinct grinding sound. That's not necessarily a sign that you have a brake problem. Grinding can be caused by things like road dirt, pieces of gravel or even brake dust on the pads or rotors.
Washing your car is the easiest way to see if the sound is caused by dirt or debris. Take your car to the local car wash and use the high pressure nozzle on your tires. If the grinding continues, your brake pads may be wearing out, and you should take your car into a repair shop for a brake inspection.
Brake Pedal Is Spongy
When you put your foot on the brake, you should feel the car begin to slow down immediately. You should also feel pressure under your foot. If your car does not slow down, or your brake pedal feels spongy - it drops to the floor too quickly – you should take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible. You might have a problem with your brake lines.
ABS Light Is On
If you have anti-lock brakes on your car, you have an ABS light on your dashboard. That light will come on to indicate that you have an electrical problem with your ABS system. As soon as your ABS light comes on, you'll need to take your car into a professional auto repair shop for repairs immediately.
Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your car. Use this handy guide to help identify potential brake problems.