Over the next few weeks, pay close attention to the four signs discussed in detail below. If you experience one or a combination of these signs, you should schedule a spring brake check for your vehicle.
#1 Vehicle Pulls
The first thing that you need to watch for is your vehicle pulling one way or another when you drive. When you take your hands off the wheel, your vehicle should drive straight. It may pull a little to one side or another if the road you are on is sloped; however, if you try this on multiple different roads, you should not notice your vehicle favoring a certain side. If your vehicle is favoring a particular side, that is a sign that your brakes may need to be replaced.
The second sign you need to watch out for is how responsive your brakes are to your directions. When you press on your brakes, they should immediately respond. There should not be a delay between when you step on your brakes and when your vehicle responds. If you gently touch on your brakes, you should feel your vehicle gently slow down. If you press hard on your brakes, you should feel your vehicle immediately pull to a stop. If it doesn't, your brakes may need to be replaced.
#3 Grinding Sounds
Third, pay attention to the sound that your brakes make when you use them. If you hear a sound that reminds you of grinding rocks and sounds a little unpleasant when you press on your brakes, your brake pads are worn down to the metal. That means your brake pads are very thin and you need to immediately replace them in order for your brakes to continue functioning properly.
Finally, pay attention to how your car feels when you drive. If your rotors are worn down all the way or if they are worn down in an irregular pattern, your brakes will vibrate when they come into contact with your rotors. Your brakes and rotors work together to slow down your vehicle. If you feel like your vehicle is vibrating when you slow down, your rotor or brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced.
If you notice any of the four signs above over the next few weeks, you should schedule a brake check this spring with your local mechanic or auto brake repair shop.