Brakes are critical elements in an automobile, so they are designed to provide reliable service. However, these components are not infallible during their lifespan or everlasting. Over time, they will experience wear and tear because of their daily operations. Also, they could sustain damage during minor accidents or impact on the road. Therefore, it is essential to commission regular safety inspections and maintenance work for ideal performance and longevity of the braking system. Additionally, you should watch out for the below-outlined signs of impending failure.
You should perform an inspection of your braking components if you hear a grinding sound after engaging the brakes. In most cases, the noise is generated because of the excessive wear of the brake pads. The brake pads have a metal wear indicator element embedded beneath the surface. When the pads wear away excessively, the metal will be exposed, and it will press against the metallic rotor. This process will cause the annoying sound and damage the rotor. So, you should perform immediate pad replacement. You should also note that grinding can occur due to insufficient lubrication in rear drum brakes or trapped stones in your vehicle's calliper unit.
If your steering vibrates after the application of pressure on your brakes, you might have problems with your brake rotors. In general, when you engage the braking system, the pads in the setup press against the rotors. The rotors are essentially disks which are inside the vehicle's wheels. Contact between the pads and the rotor generates some friction, causing the car to slow down and stop. If the rotor is not smooth or has surface variation, the pads will not have consistent contact with the disk. As a result, you will experience the feedback because the wheels will not respond well to the connection. Fortunately, the surfaces of your brake rotors can be smoothed. Other possible causes of shaking could be damaged callipers, sticky pistons and poor installation of the wheel lug nuts.
You should consult an auto service immediately if you notice that your brakes have become soft or spongy. In simple terms, if the brakes do not provide sufficient resistance after application of force on the component, there is a high possibility of complete failure. You should be particularly cautious if you can compress the pedal down to the floor. This malfunction indicates that the braking system has moisture or air, or the master cylinder could be damaged. Immediate inspection and repair should be conducted to avoid safety hazards.