Signs That It's Time for a Brake Service

Regular brake maintenance is a vital part of keeping your car safe and running smoothly. You'll get your brakes checked as part of your routine maintenance, of course; the frequency of routine maintenance will depend on your car, but it is typically somewhere between once every six months or 10,000 km and once every year or 15,000 km. Your manual will contain the recommended service interval for your vehicle. However, there are some warning signs which could indicate that you need to get your brakes checked soon. 

Squealing or grinding sounds

If you're hearing something whenever you press the brakes, you probably need to take your car in for a brake service. These noises can be caused by several different factors. For example, your brake pads may just be wearing down; most are designed to make noise when the material wears down below a certain level in order to warn drivers. Alternatively, the squealing could be caused by surface rust on the brake rotors themselves or by the material used in long-life brake pads. If you're just starting to hear a squealing or grinding sound, take your car in to have the problem diagnosed. 

Vibrating brake pedal

A vibration in the brake pedal can indicate a number of different problems, only some of them brake-related. It could be caused by worn or dirty brake pads; even if the brake pads are in good condition, this might indicate that they've been contaminated by dirt or oil and need to be cleaned. Worn or damaged brake discs could also be causing vibration in the brake pedal. Alternatively, the problem might be with the car's suspension or wheel alignment, so a more thorough checkup, including tyre safety checks could be in order. 

Slack brake pedal

A slack or spongy brake pedal lacks firmness when pressed down; if your brake pedal feels like it has some give in it when you brake, this could be a sign of a serious problem such as damaged brake lines or a worn master cylinder. Driving with this kind of damage to your brake system could be very unsafe, so be sure to bring your car in for service as soon as possible. 

These problems can all seem small if you encounter them while driving, but they could be evidence that it's time to have your brakes checked. Whether you're due for a regular service or not, if you're seeing this issues you should schedule a brake service