Signs of Brake Failure

Published: 01/21/2011 by AutoShopit

Signs of Brake Failure

As you are riding along, the radio station cuts to commercial just as you hit the brakes. You hear the most awful sound, thinking surely, that cannot be my car making that squealing noise. This is a typical scene from the show of life “when brakes go bad”.

Most people believe squealing brakes is the only tell tale sign that brakes are going bad. However, that is not the case. Prior to squealing brakes there are other warnings worth noting. The top five signs brakes are going bad are listed below.

-5- The Car is Pulling

The car pulling to one side while driving is a common occurrence. Frequently, pulling is associated with a misalignment of the wheels, but your brakes could also be the cause. Frozen brake cables, leaking brake fluid, and grease/oil on the brake pads or brake shoes will cause your car to pull to one side. If you have already had your wheels aligned and your car is still pulling. It is time to have your brakes checked and possibly a brake replacement.

-4- Too Much “Drag” When Accelerating

When you accelerate, the car should accelerate! When the car is slow to pick up speed, people automatically assume the motor is going bad. Too much drag is one of the sure Signs brakes are going bad. Caliper pistons sticking or weakened brake hoses causes brakes not to release. If your brake drums are misadjusted or the cables on the park brake are obstructed by ice, debris or rust, the car will drag when you accelerate. To lessen the need of a complete brake replacement, periodically flush your brake system and use your park brake on a regular basis.

-3- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Light On

If your ABS light is already on, clearly there is a problem. The ABS normalizes brake pressure that causes wheel-lock ups. The system uses the regular brake system along with a computer and several sensors. A warning light is one of the top three sure signs brakes are going bad. When the light is on, the ABS system is not engaged, only the normal braking system is present. To prevent the need for a total brake replacement or accident, the brake system needs to be scanned to determine the cause of the system failure.

-2- Excessive Squealing and Grinding

When your brakes reach the point of grinding, prepare your wallet for a complete brake replacement that could include shoes, pads and rotors. Signs brakes are going bad definitely do not begin with grinding. This is more or less the end stages before the big finale. By the time your brakes begin to squeal excessively, your brake pads are either worn or glazed. Wear indicators on the brake pads that touch rotors when worn.

-1- Failure to Stop

The ultimate sign of signs brakes are going bad is a failure to stop. When the constant friction between the metal backing plate and the rotor become too much, the result is a complete failure to stop. Brake failure is a dangerous situation that happens without immediate warning.

Brake problems are normal and often unavoidable. However, brake problems are in almost every case, fixable. If you heed the warnings and acknowledge the signs brakes are going bad, you could save a lot of money by providing early attention. Websites like will assist you with finding a trustworthy mechanic. offers you the largest directory of auto mechanics with customer reviews to help you get your brakes repaired properly.

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