By having your vehicle maintained properly you could help prevent this issue. Between visits, you may also notice some issues that might be related to your brake system. If you hear, smell, or notice anything unusual with your vehicle, it is always best to bring it in.
Poor brakes can happen for a variety of reasons. The brakes can harden from the heat and then are no longer able to grab and stop the rotation of the brake rotor. This usually happens after the brakes have been overused by excessive panic stops or riding of the brakes. The braking material in your vehicle must be soft enough to grab ahold of the rotor to stop it. Excessive overheating of the brake system hardens the braking material and the brakes then become less effective. Brakes that are oil or grease soaked can also become an issue over time. The brake drums or rotors may harden in the metal area because of the brakes overheating excessively. They are important because they help to resist the natural wear of the friction material that takes place during the braking process. If they are overheated, braking power is lost because the pads and shoes have nothing to grip anymore.
With poor brakes you may hear squealing or grinding noises coming from them. This is usually an indication of worn brake pads. The squealing noise comes from the wear indicators that have contact with the brake rotor. This happens when the brake pads are worn so much that the need replacing. When the condition worsens, the grinding noise will start to be heard. Squealing can also be produced from the brakes if there is a build-up of brake dust from the brake pads being worn down.
You may notice brake issues with your vehicle based on how it handles. If you notice it pulling or grabbing to one side, this can happen for a number of reasons. Your vehicle pulling can be caused from a frozen brake, a fluid leak, frozen emergency brake cables, or oil leaks on the brake shoes or pads. You may also feel pulsations with the brake pedal when you apply it. Heat and wear can thin out the brake rotor or drum and cause it to warp. The warping then turns to a pulsation feel of the brake pedal. Effective braking includes the brake pads and rotor coming into contact simultaneously with one another.
Another issue with the brake pedal could the complete loss of it. This is caused from a brake fluid leak because of a brake hose or rusted brake line. Other causes for the loss of the brake pedal could be a worn wheel cylinder, master cylinder, or brake caliper. When you press on the brake pedal you should feel a firm response that becomes increasingly firm as you press down. A mushy brake pedal can indicate that something is wrong with your brake system. It can be a minor problem like a leak or gap in the brake line, which will reduce the braking power. Make sure to contact us at the first sign of an issue so we can inspect the brake system or you.