Brake failure; it’s a nightmare scenario for many drivers the world over. The good news is that it could only really happen to us should we ignore the many clear signs that our brakes are in need of attention from a professional mobile mechanic like those at Smart Mechanics. There are many clear indications that the brakes are in trouble, many of which happen will happen long before it gets beyond any dangerous point.
For today’s blog at Smart Mechanics, we asked our team of skilled mobile mechanics serving Stansted, Bishops Stortford, Saffron Walden and the surrounding areas about these signs. Below they’ve given us the top things to look out for with your brakes, which if you get fixed up right away will always keep you safe on the road.
1. Brake pedal is too soft or too hard
The first area to indicate problems can be the brake pedal itself. It can either feel soft, spongy and unresponsive, or hard and resistant. Let’s start with the soft pedals, something our mobile mechanics service in Stansted has seen plenty of times before. If you’ve ever noticed the pedal going down to the floor far too easily, or that you are pressing the pedal a long way further down than you usually do to get the same braking effect, then there could be an issue with the key hydraulics system. There could be a brake fluid leak, for instance, or an air leak.
The second scenario here is the opposite, where you’re having to exert a lot more force than usual to obtain the same braking effect. This could indicate some kind of blockage or other obstruction in the vacuum system, and that’s what is creating the resistance.
Both soft and hard pedals need to be seen to because even if there is only minor damage right now, it can easily turn into something more serious or even deadly if left unattended.
2. You see a warning light
We often get calls to our mobile mechanics service in Stansted from people saying their brakes are faulty. One of our first questions would always be “did you see a warning light on the dashboard before the problem occurred.” Many say yes, and the most worrying thing of all is that often the light has come up some time before they make the call to get repairs.
Some of us seem hard-wired to ignore those warning lights, dismissing the system as “over-sensitive.” In reality, ignoring warnings can lead to both more dangerous issues in the car, and, more practically, more expensive repairs to get you back on the road again. If you see a brake warning light of any kind, then summon one of our great mobile mechanics to come and take a look.
3. A grinding; a squeaking
Funny noises are always something of a red flag in your car. Besides the pleasant hum of your engine and the dulcet notes coming from your music system, you shouldn’t really hear much else. Some of the common problematic sounds that emerge from the brakes can be summarized as either grinding or squeaking.
If you hear a grind when you’re applying the brakes, it could be something caught in your car’s calliper, like a stone or some gravel. Any experienced mobile mechanic in Stansted can sort this out, no problem. On the other hand, a grinding noise may also indicate that the brake pad is overly worn and you’re getting brake pad and brake rotor metal clashing together. This is a recipe for disaster.
If it’s not a grinding noise, then you might hear a squeak or squeal when you apply the brakes. You may find this high-pitched sound unpalatable, but that’s really the point. This sound is put there by design to help you know when it’s time to get a brake pad change. What you’re hearing are the brake pad wear indicators (usually made from steel) starting to make that noise as a warning that if you don’t get a mobile mechanic to change those pads for you soon, then you’ll soon be hearing the aforementioned grind of pad on rotor.
A Smart Mechanics mobile mechanic can see to your damaged brake rotors, but it would be more expensive than just having them replace the brake pads on time.
4. Bad vibrations
As we mentioned in the last point, the brake rotors are an essential part of the braking system, to which you want to avoid any kind of physical abrasion from other parts like the brake pads. Besides this kind of wear and tear, a rotor may also be uneven, in which case it won’t work as effectively when slowing your car down.
The rotors are the discs that the brake pads push up against to slow the rotors and thus your car. To that end, the rotor surface needs to be smooth, and the disc itself consistent in thickness. You can feel if your rotor might be uneven via shaking and vibration through the steering wheel when you apply the brakes.
The scariest thing is that it doesn’t even have to be a significant unevenness to create this vibrating effect. A difference of even just a few sheets of paper thick can cause that vibration or wobbling of the steering wheel. If you get a sense of the bad vibration in your steering wheel, then you should certainly seek help from one of our mobile mechanics. They’ll come right to your home or office to sort it out.
5. A pull to one side
Have you ever felt like you needed to compensate when braking? Perhaps you felt a pull and felt the need to correct it in order to stay in lane? If you have, then you should seek a mobile mechanic right away. Pulling to one side could be caused by a faulty brake hose or brake calliper — two critical components for safe and effective braking — and they would need to be fixed immediately.
Mobile Mechanics Service Stansted
If you’ve noticed any of the above problems, or if anything else feels off with your brakes, then you should seek help from one of the team of mobile mechanics at Smart Mechanics. We’ll come to your home, your office or wherever you are in the area and get the problem fixed as quickly and painlessly as possible. Give us a call today and take advantage of this great convenient service.