Common Brake Noises & How to Fix Them

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.

The Most Common Car Maintenance Mistakes

Car maintenance is one of those things that some people enjoy more than others. While some people love tinkering beneath the hood and can be seen detailing their vehicle every weekend, others prefer to avoid even thinking about checking the oil. Unfortunately, overlooking car maintenance tasks is one of the main causes for requiring our auto repair and towing services. Make sure that you avoid these common car maintenance mistakes so that you never spend time waiting by the side of the road for a tow.

Forgetting to Check the Fluids

This is one task that you should be able to handle yourself, and it only takes a few seconds to see if the oil, coolant and brake fluid are all at the appropriate levels. Simply pop the hood, and check the reservoirs to make sure that the fluids fall within the proper lines. If you find this task difficult, then just ask the technician about it during your car’s next oil change and tune up. This way, you can avoid serious problems such as your car overheating due to a lack of coolant.

Overlooking the Tires

A quality set of tires will take you many miles, but you must keep them maintained to prevent blowouts and flats. Make it a habit to check out your tires before you get in your vehicle, and check the tire pressure every time you fill up the gas. The tires should also be rotated regularly to promote more even wear. Typically, this should be done every 5,000 miles or so, which makes it ideal to do when you arrange for your car’s oil change and tune up.

Failing to Notice Brake Problems

Drivers tend to understand that their car’s braking system is an essential safety component. However, this is one part of your car that tends to be overlooked until there is a major issue such as the brakes completely going out. Avoid getting into an accident by making regular brake inspections and maintenance a priority. During a professional inspection, the pads and rotors are checked for signs of wear, and the entire system is checked for leaks. Between these critical inspections, you should also keep an eye out for signs of brake problems that require ABS brake repair such as grinding noises or your car pulling to one side whenever you apply pressure to the pedals.

Skipping Recommended Procedures

Every vehicle type and model is different, which means that the schedule that you used for maintaining your old car might not work on your new one. Fortunately, every vehicle should come stocked with an owner’s manual that outlines how often you need to do things such as change the oil and replace the belts. Always read this manual, and follow the recommended schedule to ensure that your car is always in top condition for getting you where you want to go safely.

A little maintenance now is all it takes to prevent you from being stranded on the side of the road. By knowing how to check the basic features of your car and follow the recommended schedule for replacing components, you can look forward to driving your car for many miles with confidence that it can go the distance.