Virginia Auto Service

7 Signs You Need Your Brakes Checked

signs you need your brakes fixed
Follow these tips to make sure your car brakes are working properly, especially when you need them!

Everyone knows how important it is to get your oil changed, but this is only one of the important maintenance tasks you need to perform regularly to keep your car running and on the road.  Another important maintenance task that is not necessarily as well known is getting the brakes checked.

Your brakes are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment on your car and it is critical that you keep them in good condition so that they can perform when you need them to.  But most of us don’t speak the same language as our brakes.  This means we can’t tell when they are trying to let us know that something is wrong.

Here are 7 signs that something may be wrong with your brakes.

  1. You press the brake pedal, nothing happens

If you press down on the brake pedal and the car doesn’t slow down or stop, this is a sure sign that there is something wrong with the brakes.  Use your transmission to downshift and slow the engine and try not to hit anything.  Then, read the rest of these signs so that you will know what to look for next time so you don’t let it go until your brakes stop working all together.

  1. Illuminated Brake Light or Indicator

You may not even realize that you have a brake light in your dash, but most modern cars have a light whose sole purpose is to indicate that there is a brake problem.  This light can indicate that your brakes are worn down, that the anti-lock brake system isn’t functioning, or that you have the emergency brake on.

  1. Stuttering

If you feel the car stutter when you press the brakes, even if it seems to be stopping normally, you need to get the brakes checked.  This can indicate that the brakes are worn down and is a precursor to brake failure.

  1. Change in Pedal Pressure

If you realize that you have to press the pedal down much harder than you used to in order to engage the brakes, you need to have them checked.  The same holds true if the opposite happens, and the pedal is hard to depress.

  1. Screeching And Squealing

Another sure sign that there is a problem with the brakes is hearing tell-tale screeching noise whenever you hit the brakes.  This indicates the pads have worn down and that you need to get them checked and replaced before other brake components are damaged.

  1. Black Dust

Finally, if you notice black dust on you rims, it can signify a problem.  This dust which is also called brake dust is a sign that the brakes are worn down and need replacing.

  1. Time

If you are lucky and you haven’t had any issue with your brakes that required them to be checked for the last 12 months, it is a good idea to take it in and have a tech check them out.