Brakes are one of the most important safety systems in any vehicle. Unfortunately, they’re not 100% reliable and free from any risk. A vehicle’s brakes can fail due to a variety of reasons, from everyday wear and tear to more serious problems, such as a worn brake system or a manufacturing defect. And while the number of accidents caused by brake failure is small in terms of percentage, with millions of cars on the road, even 5% of accidents that are caused by brake failures can result in hundreds of thousands of incidents.
As such, knowing the causes and signs of a failing brake system can help you stay safe on the road and avoid any major brake repairs.
Common Causes of Brake Failure
There are many causes of brake failure, some obvious and some not quite. Here are a few examples:
1. Worn Brake Pads
One of the most common causes of brake failure is worn brake pads. Over time, brake pads wear down, causing them to become less effective in slowing down and stopping the vehicle. This can be caused by normal wear and tear or by an overly aggressive driving style. As the brake pads wear down, they will eventually reach a point where they can no longer provide adequate braking force.
2. Lack of Brake Fluid
Another common cause of brake failure is a lack of brake fluid. Brake fluid is an essential part of the brake system, and if it becomes low, it can cause the brakes to become less effective or even fail completely. This can be caused by a leak in the brake lines, or it can be due to not replacing the brake fluid on a regular basis.
3. Worn Brake System
A worn brake system can also cause brake failure. Over time, the various components of the brake system, such as the calipers, rotors, and brake lines, can become worn and corroded, causing them to become less effective in slowing down and stopping the vehicle.
Signs Your Brakes Are Failing
In addition to these common causes of brake failure, there are also some warning signs that your brakes are in need of attention:
1. Squealing Sounds
One of the most common signs of failing brakes is a squealing sound when the brakes are applied. This is usually an indication that the brake pads are worn and need to be replaced. If the squealing continues even after the brakes have been applied, it could be a sign that the brake system is contaminated with dirt or debris.
2. Car Pulls to One Side
Another sign to look out for is if your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, caused commonly by a stuck caliper or a worn-down brake line.
3. Spongy or Soft Brakes
If you notice that the brake pedal is spongy or soft when you press it, this could be a sign of air or moisture in the brake lines, ultimately leading to failure.
4. Taking Longer to Stop
If you notice that your brakes are taking longer than usual to stop when you press the brake pedal, this could be a sign that there is a leak in the brake system. Once again, this could be caused by a worn or damaged brake line.
There are a variety of common causes of brake failure, including worn brake pads, a lack of brake fluid, and worn brake system components. Knowing the signs of a failing brake system can help you stay safe on the road and avoid any major brake repairs. And, if you notice any of the warning signs of brake failure, it’s important to have your brakes inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. This ensures your brakes don’t fail at the worst time possible if at all, to ensure you keep yourself and those around you on the road safe and sound!
Kirberg Motors, Inc. offers auto repair services in San Francisco, specializing in German car brands like BMW, Porsche, and so much more. If you are looking for a Belmont brakes repair service, contact us today.