When you press on the brakes, you trust that your car will stop. While regular brake maintenance and inspections go a long way toward keeping you and your passengers safe, braking systems can still experience problems between your visits to the auto service center. Keep your ears alert for these brake noises that indicate a need to fix the issue right away.
Listen For Thumping Sounds
People tend to forget that their car has brake drums on the back that can also wear out. When they are in good condition, you should not hear any noises coming from the rear brakes. However, drum brakes that are going out tend to make a thumping sound that comes from the back of your vehicle. When this happens, the drum may need to be replaced. Thumping sounds that come from the front of your vehicle could also indicate issues with the rotors there as well such as the accumulation of rust that prevents the brakes from working properly.
Check Out Scraping Sounds
At times, vehicles pick up rocks that can become lodged between the rotor and the backing plate. This is especially common if you drive on dirt roads or use an off-road vehicle on harsh terrain. Rocks stuck against the rotor create a scraping sound that is similar to a hard object being dragged against metal. Fortunately, this is usually a quick fix since certified auto repair mechanics can simply remove the rock and check to make sure that there is not any other damage.
Respond to Squeals
There are two main reasons why brakes squeal. If your brakes start squealing immediately after having them serviced, then new or inferior pads could cause this. Typically, new pads will stop squealing shortly after a few drives if they are made from quality materials. The other reason why brakes squeal is usually caused by the brake pads reaching the end of their life. Brake pads have wear indicators that cause them to squeal once they are worn down enough. When older brakes start to squeal, take the car in for ABS brake repair to replace the pads and protect the other parts of the braking system.
Address Grinding Noises
Grinding brakes are never good to hear. Usually, this means that the brake pads have worn down so far that the metal is now coming in contact with the rotors. When metal grinds on metal, the components quickly break down, and you could find yourself in an emergency situation where your car’s brakes stop working completely. At the first sound of grinding, immediately stop driving your vehicle, and arrange for a tow to the repair shop. Not only does this protect you from a serious accident, but you might be able to preserve the rotors if you address the issue fast enough.
A quality brake system should last for many miles before you have a problem. Yet, you must always be alert for signs of wear that indicate a developing brake issue that must be addressed. Now that you know these four warning sounds, be sure to listen carefully as you drive so that you can take action if a problem with the brakes arises.