Brake Warning Lights
Likely the emergency brake is on, or you have a serious drop in your brake system’s hydraulic pressure. Your brakes may be near total failure!
Hard Brake Pedal
The brakes require you apply extreme pressure to make the brakes function. Indicator of power brake trouble, restricted hydraulic lines, frozen calipers or wheel cylinders, or damaged brake linings.
Low or "Spongy" Brake Pedal
The brake pedal nearly touches floorboard before brakes function or feels “spongy”. Your brake warning light might come on when you push brake pedal. This problems could require a simple adjustment or it may be something much more serious. Come on in to us and get it checked out ASAP!
It may feel like your brakes are “sticking”, or the wheels feel hot, or your engine seems to have lost power. Brakes might be failing to release (Let go of the disc/drum); the condition can also reverse itself, which leaves you with no brakes at all.
The brakes feel "touchy" and will grab and stop with very little pedal pressure. Could indicate a simple problem like a grease or oil contaminated brake lining, but it could be as serious as a loose or broken brake system components that are ready to fail in an emergency.
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Your car “pulls” or “dives” to one side when you apply the brakes. May be anything from an underinflated tire, to misadjusted brakes or brakes are in need of repair.
Brakes should operate with very little noise. A little noise is normal, but excessive squealing, screeching, grinding, groaning, chatter, clatter or bang means your brakes need attention.
Vibration When Braking
Your brake pedal, steering wheel or whole vehicle shakes and vibrates or pulsates when you apply the brake. This could mean that you need to resurface disc brake rotors, or it signal a serious problem of a loose component or faulty steering mechanism.
What Should You Do?
Any of the conditions listed above can cause longer stopping distances and difficult stopping when put in an emergency situation. If brake rotors and drums are too thin, they can even become over-stressed and break.
Any time you notice any of the symptoms on this list, or other symptoms when you “hit the brakes” it's a very good idea to have your brakes checked. We recommend that you have them inspected at least once a year, even if you aren’t required to have your car inspected by the state.
At Jim Riehl, our Service Centers and our certified Brake experts have the right diagnostic equipment, expertise, and quality brake part components for your vehicle makes and models.