New Orleans Auto Repair

Mon - Fri: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

How do I know if my brakes are bad?

  

Knowing if your brakes are bad is critical. Your brakes are possibly the most important safety system on your vehicle because brakes need to work properly every time! 

Brake Repair or Replacement is needed when:
1) A  brake warning indicator is lit
2) A squeal or grinding noise is heard when stopping 
3) A shake is felt when applying brakes 
4) Measuring at or below 3 mm of friction material

Brake Warning Indicator
If your brake warning is illuminated on your instrument cluster we recommend not driving your vehicle until the brake fluid level is checked. The BRAKE warning can come on for several reasons, but a particularly dangerous and common reason for the light is low brake fluid. If your brake fluid is low that is an indication that you either have worn brake components somewhere in the system or you may have a brake fluid leak. After topping off your brake fluid we strongly recommend having your vehicle checked by a professional.

Squeal or Grinding Noise
If you hear a squeal or a grinding noise when stopping your vehicle that is a good indication you have worn out brake parts. If your brakes have been allowed to wear until there is no friction material left on the pads or shoes you can hear an audible squeal or grind noise when the brakes are applied. If you are hearing brake noises we strongly recommend having your vehicle checked by a professional

Vehicle Shaking 
If you feel a shaking left and right sensation either in your entire vehicle or in the steering wheel when pressing the brakes at highway speeds that is an indication of worn or out of true brake parts. The brake pad or shoe applying pressure on a not perfectly true rotor or drum can cause a slight or in some extreme cases a violent shake when applying the brakes. Sometimes brake parts can become out of true because of a brake overheating problem. If you are experiencing a shake when applying the brakes we strongly recommend having your vehicle checked.

Measurement of Brakes
Lastly if your brake pads or shoes measure below 3 mm it is a good time to have your brakes changed. When your friction material gets at or below 3 mm your brakes lose some of their ability to disperse heat and can lead to an increased stopping distance. Measuring your brake pads or shoes and inspecting brake lines for leaks and checking your brake fluid level are all parts of our digital vehicle inspection. 
Having your vehicle fully inspected every five months is the best way to ensure safe and reliable function of all of your systems, including brakes. Let the Mechanics at Tim’s check your vehicle and help keep you safe on the road! 

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