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Brake repair

5 Signs that it’s Time to Replace Your Brakes

Regardless of whether your driving style and habits are on the “slow and steady” or the “pedal to the metal” side of the spectrum, with so much stop-and-go traffic in this area it’s just a matter of time — or make that miles — before you’ll need to replace your brakes in Sarasota.

However, many drivers — including those that have been behind the wheel for decades — don’t know how to spot the early warning signs that they likely need a new set of brakes. As a result, they end up paying a hefty repair bill, since degraded brakes can damage other vehicle components and parts, like steering and tires. 

Plus, rather than scheduling service when it’s most suitable for them — such as on the weekend, or when they can conveniently get away from work for an hour or so — drivers who aren’t aware that their brakes need some TLC are often forced to put their life on hold while their vehicle is being repaired, because there’s no other choice. They either get new brakes right away or else!    

To avoid this scenario, here are five reliable warning signs that your brakes are probably reaching the end of their safe and functional life, and it’s in your best interest — safety-wise and financially — to bring your vehicle in for an inspection ASAP:

1. Screeching, Scraping or Clicking Sounds

If you’re hearing high-pitched (but not necessarily ear piercing) screeching, scraping or clicking sounds when you apply the brakes, then it’s likely that your pad-wear indicators are doing their job and telling you it’s time for a change either to the brakes, the rotors, or possibly both.

It’s very important to keep in mind that any of these warning sounds may be intermittent. For example, you might hear a clicking while reversing out of the driveway in the morning, but not when you come home after work. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is OK. Get your brakes checked out, because it’s much better to be safe than sorry!

2. Vibrating or Pulsating

While road and weather conditions play a role in the condition of your brakes in Sarasota, generally speaking braking should have smooth and responsive feel. If you start to feel vibrating or pulsating when braking — constantly or intermittently — then it’s time for a closer look. There’s a good chance that a new set of rotors are in your vehicle’s future.

3. Slow Response

As you’ve experienced over the years, different vehicles respond to applying the brakes in different ways. Yet with this being said, all vehicles — whether you’re driving a stylish sports sedan or a conventional minivan — should respond immediately when you apply the brakes.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that your vehicle should come to a screeching halt the minute that you tap the brakes! But it certainly does mean that you shouldn’t experience any braking delay. If you press the brakes and don’t immediately feel and see that your vehicle is obediently responding to your command, then a check-up is in order.

4. Thin Brake Pads

If a wheel cover doesn’t block your view, take a peek at your brake pads by looking through the spokes of your vehicle’s wheel. If the pad is less than ¼” thick, then that’s a sure sign that it’s too thin and needs to be replaced. 

5. Pulling When Braking

Last but certainly not least: if your vehicle is pulling to either side when braking, then there’s a good chance that the brake pads have worn unevenly, or that there may be a problem with the brake fluid. Looking into this not only makes things safer for you, but it will identify what could be an underlying problem (e.g. misalignment).

Contact Us

While every system in your vehicle is important, it goes without saying that being able to safely brake when you want, how you want, and especially how soon you want is absolutely vital — and in extreme cases, could be a matter of life and death.

Beiler’s Auto Repair is one of the most trusted sources for brakes in Sarasota. If you believe — or know — that you need to replace or repair any aspect of your braking system, then we’re here to help. Call us at 941.377.0141, or make an appointment through the form on your right. We look forward to serving you soon!