We use our brakes a lot in L.A. Between congested freeways and busy city streets, we rely on our vehicle’s braking system to work every time we step on the brake pedal. How can you tell if your brakes are going bad? Your automobile will tell you there’s a problem and we here at Boulevard Auto Repair can fix it. Here are six signs you’re overdue for a brake inspection and service.
The Brake Light Is On
The brake light has two jobs. First, it shines when you have your parking brake set. Second, it will turn on if there is a brake system problem. Depending on your automobile, you may have a brake light and an ABS light or just a brake light.
Brake Fluid Is Leaking
Brake fluid will leak from worn hoses or the master cylinder. Your vehicle needs brake fluid to stop, which is why you see the bad guys cut the brake lines in action flicks. Brake fluid is light-to-dark brown and very oily or slick to the touch.
Something Feels Off
You know how your brake pedal feels when you slow down and stop, and if something feels off, it probably is. Your brake pedal shouldn’t feel airy or squishy, nor should it (or your steering wheel) shake or vibrate when you apply the brakes.
The Car Pulls
Your vehicle might also pull to one side when you brake if you have a bad brake hose or faulty or stuck caliper. If your vehicle pulls to one side while you’re driving, it’s most likely the alignment. If it pulls when you brake, the problem is with the brakes.
The Brakes Make Noise
Grinding, scraping, squeaking, or squealing are never something you should hear coming from your brakes. The problem might lie in the brake pads, especially if you hear grinding, or with the shoes on the rear drum brakes. It could also be a lack of lubrication.
The Brakes Smell Like Chemicals
Finally, you should never smell your brakes burning or see smoke coming from them unless you had to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. Burning, chemical smells suggest the brakes are overheating. Smoke could be a stuck caliper.
Please don’t take chances with your brakes. Boulevard Auto Repair in Sherman Oaks, CA, can inspect them and service or repair them so you’re always safe and ready to stop on a dime. Call our shop at 818-392-5304 to schedule a brake service appointment.