9 Motor Vehicle Brake Warning Signals

Unlike many other parts of a car, as vehicle drivers we know the important function a motor vehicle’s brakes perform. But we also often take it for granted that by the simple action of depressing the brake pedal the car will come to a stop and avoid crashing into objects in our pathway.

Important as brakes are, a certain amount of understanding can go a long way to making them last longer and function effectively. This allows you to maintain the optimum level of safety for everyday driving.

The following are common warning signs that you should be aware of:

  1. Squeaky brakes could mean worn brake pads, but squeaking can also be caused by other factors such as dusty conditions, moisture, rust, and low temperatures.
  2. Long braking distance could indicate that the brake fluid has degraded and needs replacing.
  3. Vibrating brakes could be caused by contamination such as rust or dirt on the brake pads. Further factors such as warped or damaged brake pads, worn brake discs, and warped brake rotors will also cause vibrating either through the brake pedal or steering wheel.
  4. Pulling to one side when brakes are applied could mean the tyres need attention, but it could also indicate seized brake calipers or a collapsed brake hose.
  5. Spongy pedals could indicate a problem with the hydraulic system, meaning an impending failure in the brake system.
  6. Leaking brake fluid is a serious issue leading to complete failure of the vehicle’s braking system.
  7. Burning odours when the brakes are applied means they have over heated – if smoking occurs the brake pads are burning – this is extremely dangerous.
  8. Finally, the brake warning light on the dashboard is there to be paid attention to. It could indicate a serious failure in the system. Don’t ignore it.

From this you can see that there are many factors that could cause brake failure, and we have only indicated the more common causes. If you experience any of these issues, do not hesitate to take your car in for a check up.

The good news is, prevention is better than cure, and your regular vehicle service should help to avoid you experiencing any of the more serious brake symptoms.

In the unfortunate event that your car suffers a mechanical or electrical breakdown, the AutoPedigree Component Warranty provides you with a financial benefit for repairing covered items. Contact us to find out more and keep your vehicle on the road in good driving condition for longer.



Tips and advice on this website are for guideline or entertainment purposes only. Auto Pedigree and the authors cannot be held responsible for any advice given, written or verbal. Please do your research thoroughly and use any advice at your own discretion. 

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