Are you hearing squeaking noises when you slow down your vehicle? Does the brake pedal feel soft and spongy? There are many signs your vehicle needs new brakes, some more alarming than others. In order to help you save time and money, here are the most common signs your car needs new brake pads, shoes, drums, rotors or calipers, and how quickly you should get each fixed by a trained, mobile mechanic.
The brakes make a squeaking noise
Brake noise is very common and can mean either your brakes are dirty, or they are worn down to the bare metal. If you are hearing squeaking when stopping but the braking performance is perfectly fine, chances are high your brakes just need to be cleaned. If you have drum brakes, they may also need to be adjusted if the self adjuster isn’t working properly. However, if the squeak is very loud and almost sounds like scrapping, it’s probably because your brake pads or shoes have worn down to to the metal and are scraping against the rotor or drum.
The brake pedals feel soft
A lack of braking pressure can be scary as it requires more pedal movement to stop the vehicle and often, a longer distance to come to a complete stop. This can be a result of leaking calipers, brake cylinders, brake lines, or air in the braking system.
The steering wheel shakes when braking
This common issues doesn’t always mean the brakes are bad - it usually means they’re simply deformed. A shaking steering wheel when braking is usually always a sign of a warped brake rotor. These can be fixed by having the rotor machined, or “turned,” but the longer you wait, the more likely the fix will require an entire brake rotor replacement.