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4 Signs You Need to Change Your Brakes

Your braking system is one the most crucial safety mechanisms in your car and can be the cause of serious car accidents. Your brakes and tires control where your car goes, and when it stops. The two are also the most prone to wear and tear. Here are four warning signs that you need to change your brakes:

  1. Soft Pedal -- Do you need to press down harder on the brake pedal than you used to in order to come to a complete stop? If so, you may have a problem. A couple possibilities are that air may have got into the brake lines and caused an improper bleeding in the system or that water got in and caused the brake fluid to boil before forming gases in the lines and reducing your stopping power. Regardless, if you have a soft pedal then you should get it checked by an auto mechanic as soon as possible.
  2. Squealing and Groaning -- If your brakes squeal or groan when you are driving faster than 6 miles per hour then it may indicate that your brake pads, calipers and rotors aren't a good match; your brake pads are worn out; or your brake pads are not properly fitted for your car. In any case, you should take your car to a trusted auto mechanic.
  3. Pulling and Vibrations -- If your brakes are pulling to one side, it could be unbalanced tire pressure or a problem with your brake caliper. If your tire pressures are fine, then the likely problem is that your brake caliper is sticking, leaking, or not sliding correctly because of corrosion. By fixing your brake caliper, you can increase the life of your brake pads and get better control over your steering.
  4. Grinding Noise -- Whenever you hear a grinding noise from your car it means trouble. Breaks are no exception. If you hear a grinding noise you should get off the road as quickly as possible and get your car towed for maintenance right away. The grinding noise from your brakes could be caused by harshly worn brake linings that are pushing against the rotors. Replacing rotors is very expensive, and the less wear on them the better.

Put simply, if you ever notice an issue with your brakes you should get them checked right away. A problem with your brakes not only puts you in serious risk of getting in a car accident, but it also endangers anybody riding in your vehicle and those around you.

Don't play around when it comes to changing your brakes -- always minimize your risk of car accidents and ensure your safety.

Please see Automotive Consumer Help & Advice for more articles.

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