Determining if Your Brakes Are Having Any Issues


Chances are that you do not think about your car’s brakes often. You just want them to work when you jam a foot on the brake pedal. However, there are occasions when your brakes need some of your attention and send a few signals your way to indicate that. In this article, we’ll examine some of the things that may indicate your brakes are getting needy. We encourage you to make use of the services offered by the service department at East Hills Chevrolet, a full-service car dealer in Douglaston, NY when the time comes to get your brakes serviced!

First, some words on how brakes work. Many cars use what are known as disc brakes. These work in similar to how brakes on a ten-speed bicycle do. When you squeeze the brakes on a 10-speed, rubber pads grip both sides of the wheel rim and the resultant friction quickly slows the bike down. It is similar with a car but instead of rubber pads, a hydraulic system filled with brake fluid squeezes the spinning rotors attached to your vehicle’s wheels with brake pads. In this case, the friction that occurs between the pads and rotors slows down your vehicle.

One thing to discuss is how you find out it may be time to have your brake pads replaced; the “pulsing brake pedal” signal. If the brake pedal pulses when you step on the brakes, then you might have one or more things happening. If your brake rotor is out-of-round or scored, your brake pedal could pulse. You might also have a defective wheel bearing or a stuck piston in your brake caliper assembly. In any of these situations, it is best to have your mechanic take a look.

Also, brake pads get thin over time. They simply wear down and will have to be replaced. Mechanics check the thickness of the brake pads to judge if they’re in this category. They need to be some ¼ inch thick or more. You may also be able to do this yourself. If you have spoked rims, you might be able to look through your wheel spokes and see the brake pads inside the brake caliper. Do they look like they are thicker than ¼ inch? Then you’re probably okay. Can’t see them? Then let a mechanic take a look.

Finally, if when stopping your car is you feel like you’re putting your feet through the bottom of the car, you may have a problem with the power-assist part of the brake system. If something occurs to interfere with your assist part, the brakes will still work but will take tons of foot pressure to work. In general, you may stay out of trouble in regards to your vehicle’s brake system by keeping your eyes and ears open for issues that happen when you use them. Today’s brake systems are robust and are made to be failure-resistant. However, they’ll need new brake pads and other updates occasionally.


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