When Your Brakes Talk You Should Listen
it comes to driving safely, it's easy to take your vehicle's ability to stop for
granted — until you really need it.
to brake expert Akebono, your brakes often reveal possible serious situations
when they make noise, pull, judder — another term for vibrate — or feel soft.
Addressing these symptoms promptly enhances your safety and may save time and
money in the long run.
Squealing and Groaning
noises soon after a brake job may indicate there is a problem. You should return
to the shop where the work was done as soon as possible, to have the brakes checked
out by a technician. Installing premium brake pads, calipers and rotors may cost
a bit more up front, but often provides noise — and vibration — free operation and
longer pad life.
some instances, however, brake squealing simply indicates the pads are worn down
and those squeaking wear indicators are doing their job.
abrasive nature of many traditional brake pads against the rotor may also cause
squealing. Low quality rotors could be the noise culprit, as well. Neither of
these situations is ideal, but the resulting noise is more annoying than anything
noises also can be caused by low quality or abrasive brake pads. Squealing and
groaning can both be minimized by installing premium brake system components.
Have your installer use the same type of pad fitted as original equipment or an
upgrade pad. Ultra-premium ceramic pads, such as Akebono's ProACT brand, are now
available for virtually all domestic, Japanese and European models.
your brakes are applied and the vehicle pulls to one side, low tire pressure may
be at fault. But, it can also mean a brake caliper is sticking, leaking or not
sliding properly due to corrosion. This can lead to uneven brake pad and rotor
wear, reducing the life of the pads and causing steering wheel judder or vibration.
The rotor may be able to be machined smooth, but this is not a long-term fix.
A corroded caliper or rotor may need to be replaced. A trained technician can
assess the situation and fix it right the first time.
air or water gets into the brake system, you may experience a soft-pedal feel.
Improper bleeding and general corrosion are typically the culprits. Air in the
system forces you to push harder on the brake pedal than normal to stop. Water
can adversely affect caliper performance by causing brake fluid to boil prematurely.
This can result in a significant loss of stopping power. It is best to have the
brake fluid changed as recommended.
can learn a lot by paying attention to what their brakes have to say. It can be
a key to being both safe on the road — and with their money.
(Source: Car Care Council)