DIY Auto Maintenance and Servicing Tips

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How to Know When You Are Experiencing Brake Trouble

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Some car owners take functioning brakes for granted until they experience brake failure situations while driving. One minute things are going well on the road and the next minute you press on the brake pedal and notice that it is travelling all the way to the floor of the car. That's when it dawns on you that the brakes have gone out.

The good thing with brakes is that they seldom fail completely without any warning. Most of the time, brake problems manifest themselves in obvious ways. With that said, make sure you pay close attention to the following signs of brake problems.

A Puddle Beneath the Car

Your vehicle's braking system relies on brake fluid to work efficiently. Brake fluid helps to create the hydraulic pressure needed to transfer and amplify the braking force. Without this fluid, you won't be able to slow down or halt your car smoothly and effectively.

Over time, brake fluid leaks may occur, causing your braking system to fail or lose its efficiency. If you notice a puddle underneath your car — on the ground just below the brake fluid reservoir — then it is likely that the vehicle is leaking brake fluid.

Brake repair for this problem would require sealing of the leaky areas before new fluid can be added.

Ear-Piercing Noise

When your brakes are functioning properly, they allow you to slow down or stall your car without making any horrendous noise. If your brakes make grinding, squealing, screeching or other loud and shrill noises, this is a warning sign of brake trouble. 

Brake Warning Light Alerts

If the brake warning lights on the dash of your car come on while you're driving, you shouldn't ignore the alerts. If you haven't picked up any sign of brake issues yet, these alerts are usually the most obvious sign that your brakes need to be checked and repaired. 

A Decline in the Overall Performance of the Brakes

When you have perfectly healthy brakes, slowing down or bringing your car to a halt is a smooth and easy process. All you have to do is gently press on the brake pedal, and the car will automatically reduce its speed. 

If your car drifts to one side of the road or vibrates strongly when you apply the brakes, this is a sign that your brakes may need some repair service.

Your braking system is one of the most vital safety components of your car, so you shouldn't take any chances when it comes to its health. If you notice one or more of the above-highlighted warning signs of brake issues, seek out a brake repair technician post-haste.