Would You Recognize These 3 Subtle Signs Of Brake Failure?

Are your brakes making a noticeable squealing noise? Do you hear grinding whenever you step on the pedal? If so, you don't need this article – take your car to a brake shop right away! Unfortunately, not every problem with your car's brakes will produce these dramatic effects, and it's easy to ignore the warning signs of trouble if you don't know what they are.

Since your brakes are critical to a safe driving experience, it can pay to learn the subtle signs of trouble. Below you'll find three indications that you may want to get your car into a brake repair shop sooner rather than later.

1. Brake Pulsations

Pulsating brakes are one of the more common issues you may experience on your car. While this symptom can sometimes be subtle, it's often relatively easy to spot. When you press down on the brake pedal, you'll feel a pulsation either in the pedal, the steering wheel, or the entire body of the car. Whatever the case, these pulsations can be fairly alarming.

While brake pulsations aren't dangerous in and of themselves, they can indicate a more severe problem with your brakes. Your brakes will usually pulsate due to a rotor imbalance or a surface imperfection, often due to problems such as sticking calipers. If your brakes are pulsating, you'll want a shop to look into the problem as soon as possible.

2. Excessive Brake Dust

Brake dust may seem purely cosmetic, but it can be a warning sign of something much more significant. Your car should always use similar braking equipment on the same axle, so the left and right wheels on the front or rear of your car should have the same rotors and brake pads. As a result, they should generate about the same amount of brake dust.

If you notice more dust on one wheel, that's usually an indication that the caliper may be dragging. This extra dust shows up because the pads are continuously pressing on the caliper, wearing them down and generating dust. Once you notice this problem, you'll need an expert to help determine if the issue lies with your caliper, brake hose, or another component in your braking system.

3. Weak Pedal Feel

You might be surprised at how much of your car's braking system exists to help make using your brakes easier. It takes a lot of force to stop a car, so modern cars include numerous assistance systems to make depressing the brake pedal a relatively easy experience. In other words, it's a worrying sign when the brake pedal becomes soft or too easy to press.

A soft pedal usually indicates an issue with your hydraulic braking fluid. You may have air in the system or even a leak. Whatever the case, driving a vehicle with a pedal that feels soft or goes to the floor is not safe. If you're experiencing these symptoms, the safest option is to immediately tow your car to a brake shop. 

For more information, contact a local company like Car Doctors of Loma Linda.