Losing your grip? How to tell if your brakes are broke!

 

Brakes that perform poorly can not only make driving a hassle, it makes it exceptionally dangerous. It’s easy for a lot of people to not realize how bad their brakes have gotten, though. Since they wear out very gradually, you won’t notice a sudden change in the way they perform. You adjust your driving style right along with the decreasing brake performance. That can make it very tricky to actually know when your brakes have become dangerous. Of course the easiest way to know if your brakes are in good shape is to bring your vehicle in to the SVG Service Department. Our technicians will be happy to perform an inspection for you. However, there are ways you can clue into what’s going on with your brakes and we list them below.

 

DRAGGING:  If your brakes are not working properly, they can actually fail to release once used. If your brakes are dragging, you’ll know because your vehicle will seem to have lost power, your wheels may be exceptionally hot, and / or your engine may seem to be hotter than normal. The bad news is that often when the brakes do release, they fail to clamp again, leaving you with no brakes at all. If you suspect your brakes are seized or are dragging, schedule an appointment with the SVG Service Department right away.

 

DIVING TO THE LEFT (OR RIGHT) WHILE BRAKING:  While an underinflated or flat tire can cause your vehicle to pull to one side or another while braking, it can also mean that your brakes are worn out or misaligned.

 

PEDAL SINKS TO FLOOR:  If you need to depress your brake pedal all the way to the floor for your vehicle to stop, it can indicate multiple potential problems. One could be an issue with your power brake system, frozen calipers, damaged brake linings, or damaged wheel cylinders. It’s better to be safe than sorry – bring your vehicle in to SVG for service.

 

DASH LIGHT:  If you see the brake warning light illuminated on your dash, it indicates a problem within the brake system, which could be any number of different issues. Every vehicle manufacturer seems to have a different symbol for brake issues, but here are some of the most common:

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When the brake warning light illuminates on your dash, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our service department right away to ensure your safety.

 

STEERING WHEEL SHUDDERS:  If your brake pedal or steering wheel vibrates or shudders when braking, your rotors may need turned. This symptom can also be caused by loose brake components or faulty steering system components.

 

SQUEALING: Screeching, grinding, chattering, clicking or squealing noises during braking could mean you need new brake pads. It’s important to note that many rotors will quickly develop rust on the surface if the vehicle has been left outside during the rain and not driven for a day or two. The rust on the rotor surface will make a slight grinding noise when you brake, but the pressure of the brake pads will clean the rust off the surface very quickly and the grinding will go away after you’ve pressed the brake to come to a stop a time or two.

 

GRABBING:  When you press the brake pedal (even very gently) and your vehicle quickly jerks, it’s likely that your brakes are grabbing. This could mean that your brake pads have something on their surface preventing them from working properly or that they are broken and ready to fail.

 

As always, we encourage you to visit our service department if you have any concerns over your brake performance. We care about our customers! It’s easy to make an appointment with our service department, just click here.

 

Categories: Tech Tips, News, Parts, Service
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