3 Typical Signs Your Braking System Is On the Brink and Needs Repair

Brakes are one of the most critical safety components of any vehicle, as they allow drivers to slow down and halt their vehicles while they're on the road. There are, however, circumstances when brakes fail on the road, and it's important for every driver to be aware of what to do in such situations to avert potential accidents. 

Fortunately, brake failure seldom comes about without warning. For the most part, signs of brake issues will show before brakes can completely fail. Having said that, here's a rundown of some typical signs of brake problems. 

1. When the brake warning light stays on.

The brake warning light on your dash usually comes on for a short time when you start your vehicle. However, if it continues illuminating while you're driving, your braking system may be faulty and needs to be repaired. You could be experiencing brake fluid leaks, or your brake pads could be overly worn and need replacement, for example.

2. When the brake pedal feels 'mushy'.

When your braking system is working properly, you should be able to brake effectively by lightly pressing on the brake pedal with your foot. The brake pedal should feel firm and resistant under the foot.

When your brake pedal loses this firmness and resistance, it is said to be 'mushy,' 'soft' or 'spongy,' and it tends to travel all the way to the floor when braking. This problem could be caused by various reasons, including the presence of air in the brake lines, worn master cylinder, worn calipers and more.

If there is air in the brake lines, it can be removed through a process referred to as "bleeding," while worn parts will need to be replaced. 

3. When you hear strange noises during braking.

Your braking system is designed to operate noiselessly during operating, so if you notice grinding, squeaking, screeching, scraping and other noises when you apply the brakes, you should know that something is amiss. The common sources of these unusual noises include misaligned parts, worn parts, low brake fluid, warped parts and more. The only way to find out the exact cause of the problem is to ask a professional auto mechanic to check your car.

If you notice any of these signs, you should ask a qualified brake repairs mechanic to check your vehicle right away. Waiting too long before repairing your vehicle can lead to further damage and costlier brake repair bills.