This content is provided courtesy of USAA.
How do you know when your brakes need work? These symptoms may tell you:
- Decreased stopping power. If the brakes feel like they're sinking to the floor when you press on the pedal, the master cylinder vacuum hose or brake fluid line may have a leak.
- Car vibrates or pulls to one side when braking. While a variety of problems can cause these symptoms, they could indicate warped rotors, uneven wear on the brake pads or other brake- or suspension-related problems.
- Squealing, screeching, scraping or grinding noises. When your brake pads get thin, a metal wear indicator on the pad emits a high-pitched squeal — a warning that it's time to have your brakes checked before any damage is done. But if you hear grinding or the scraping sound of metal on metal, it could mean you've waited too long. You could be damaging the rotors every time you brake.
If you experience any of these symptoms, have your brakes inspected by a trained mechanic as soon as possible.