Are The Brakes In My Vehicle Bad?

If you own a vehicle then it is important that you pay attention to your brake warning signs. If worn down brakes are not fixed they can cause some very dangerous situations. 

How Can I Tell If The Brakes In My Vehicle Are Bad?

The first sign of bad brakes is the sound the brakes make. If your brakes squeak when stopping or if they screech loudly, this can mean that they desperately need to be serviced. The next warning sign is how the brakes feel while they’re in use. If the brakes feel spongy then this may mean that brake fluid needs to be added. The experts at Metro Transmission and Automotive will go through some of the common, and not so common warning signs from your vehicle’s braking system.

Unusual Sounds While Braking

It’s important to listen to your vehicle while driving because you can learn a lot about it by hearing what’s happening. The brake system in your vehicle is no exception to this rule, in fact, brake noises are one of the biggest clues that something isn’t right with your vehicle.

Common sounds indicating your brakes need service

  • Squeaking
  • Grinding
  • Clunking

The most common sound associated with brake problems is brake squeaking. A brake squeak happens when brake pads start to wear down past their safe operating range, causing them to rub against the metal brake rotors as you brake. This is common in most vehicles, and you should schedule service at your earliest convenience.

If there is a grinding or clunking noise while you brake then this may be a sign that your brake pads are wearing unevenly. If the brake pads are worn down too much they will rub against your brake rotors causing metal on metal grinding sounds. This can cause severe damage to your brakes components and also significantly shorten the lifespan of your brake system. You should schedule a service immediately if you are hearing grinding or clunking while braking in your vehicle.

How It Feels While Driving

Sounds are important indicators of the health of a vehicle, but they don’t always tell the whole story. How a vehicle feels while driving can also be a big indicator as to how well it is running, and brake feel is no exception.

Common Brake Feel Indicators 

  • Steering Wheel Shakes While Braking
  • Brake Pedal Feels Soft or Spongy

If you notice your steering wheel shaking or vibrating while braking this can be a symptom of brake problems. This usually is the result of brake pads that are worn down past their safe operating range, or brake rotors that are warped or severely rusted. You should schedule an appointment for brake service immediately if you notice these symptoms when braking in your vehicle.

If your brake pedal feels soft or spongy, this may indicate that the brake fluid levels need to be refilled. Low brake fluid can cause a decrease in braking ability and can lead to very dangerous situations on the road. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure of how to check the brake fluid levels in your vehicle, or bring your vehicle in for service as soon as possible.

The braking system in our vehicles are one of the most important systems to our safety while driving. By being aware of brake warning signs you can avoid having a brake failure in the future and save yourself some money on brake repairs. So next time your brakes start squealing or screeching, schedule a service with the pros at Metro Transmission and Automotive. 


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Metro Transmission

The ASE Certified Mechanics at Metro Transmission and Automotive have over 100 years of combined experience. We're a full service, AAA Approved Auto Repair Shop, conveniently located in San Marcos, CA off Highway 78.

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