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Does my car need a brake check?

Your braking system is the most important safety system in your vehicle. It's important to get it checked regularly, or you might find that a worn down brake pad is the difference between stopping safely in an emergency situation and putting yourself (and others) in a lot of danger.

When you press down on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid in the caliper pushes the brake pads against the brake discs, creating enough friction to slow down (and eventually stop) the vehicle.

Considering how often braking occurs, it’s unsurprising that brake pads, in particular, require regular replacement.

How can I tell if my car needs a brake change?

There are several signs you can look for to work out whether your brakes aren’t working properly. If you notice any of the following, visit your closest Auto Care Garage for a braking inspection.

Your brake warning light is on

If your brake warning light is on – don’t waste any time. Take your car for a braking inspection immediately. The brake warning light means that the braking system’s hydraulic system has likely failed, and you could be facing a serious accident if it’s not fixed.

Your brakes have “lost their bite”

When you apply the brakes, do you feel as though it takes longer for your vehicle to stop than it used to? There could be a number of underlying reasons for this, including worn-out brake pads and discs, old brake fluid lacking moisture, or a faulty hydraulic system.

You’ve spotted leaks from the inner wheel when you park, or on the inner wheel itself

Brake fluid is clear with a slight odour. Leakage can indicate damage to your braking system, such as worn seals, split hoses, or loose connections.

You hear a squealing sound when you brake

If you hear a squealing sound when you brake, you could be dealing with a number of issues. This can also occur if your car has been parked in rain or standing water for a long period of time. It should wear off once you’re driving again.

You hear a grinding sound when you brake

A grinding sound is more serious. If you hear this when you brake, it means your brake discs or pads could need replacing. The grinding sound can be produced by the “wear indicator” on brake pads.

Your car “pulls” to either side when you brake

If your car seems to “pull” to one side or the other when you brake, you could be dealing with a braking system that is unevenly worn or a sticking brake caliper. Get this fixed immediately – if you were to brake hard in an emergency situation and veer unexpectedly to one side, you put yourself in a lot of danger.

Your steering system/brake pedal vibrates as you decelerate

Vibration from your steering system or brake pedal is a sign that your brake discs are warped.

You have to press your brake pedal to the floor for it to work

If you have to press your brake pedal a long way down or all the way to the floor for it to work, your braking system could be leaking. This is a serious problem requiring an immediate braking inspection and any relevant repairs.

What does a braking system inspection involve?

A full braking system inspection will not only inspect the function of the brakes but also how everything looks. An engineer will look at the brake disks, calipers, brake pads, fluid levels, and hydraulics in order to ensure that your braking system is in tip-top condition.

We recommend getting brake checks regularly, as your brakes suffer a lot of wear and tear compared to the rest of your vehicle and are imperative for keeping yourself and other road users safe.

A brake check performed by the Auto Care Group will identify any faults with your braking system and provide you with a report and cost breakdown to rectify the issues.

Brake Checks at The Auto Care Group

Brake checks are carried out as part of our
Darlington and Stockton car servicing programmes
, but we will also offer a free brake check if you feel there has been a change in the performance of your braking system.

The Auto Care Group offers free brake checks and inspections to ensure your brakes are working and in a roadworthy condition. Contact us today.