If you've never had brake trouble before, it's difficult to know what all the little signs and symptoms are of brake trouble. Each car is slightly different, too, so a combination that let you know your first car was having brake trouble may not be the same combination in your second car. It helps to have an understanding of all the different symptoms so you can stay on the lookout.
Noises in Your Brakes
Some car manufacturers put what's called brake wear sensors on the vehicle to make specific noises when the brakes need servicing. For that information, it's best to check the owner's manual. In the absence of a particular sensor sound, you should listen for either a squealing sound or a grinding sound when you press the brake pedal. Squealing is typically the first type of sound you'll hear, then as the brake pads wear down even further, the noise changes to grinding. These sounds are a definite alert that you need to pay attention to in order to keep your vehicle operating safely.
Issues with the Brake Fluid
Even if you aren't hearing sounds from your brake pads, you could still have trouble elsewhere in the system. This is where checking your brake fluid comes in handy. Like your car's oil, you can check the brake fluid from inside the engine compartment. You first want to check the level of the brake fluid. If there's less fluid than the reservoir indicates that there should be, you may have a leak. While you're checking the levels, look at the fluid itself. Ideally, your brake fluid should be clear. If it's dark in color, then dirt or other contaminants have gotten into the brake system, and that's bad news because it can make your brakes fail.
Pulling and Bouncing
Pulling and bouncing when you press your brakes can be a sign of problems with your car's alignment, but they can also be letting you know there's a problem with your brakes. Bouncing or pulsating when you're attempting to stop can happen when your brake's rotors are warped. You may feel the bouncing, but you can also see it in your steering wheel. Another common issue is the car pulling to one side or the other when you press the brakes. An inspection can clear up the exact cause of the bouncing or the pulling.
If you're in need of help with brake repair, contact an expert like Express Oil Change. A thorough inspection can pinpoint exactly what's wrong with your brakes and what it will take to fix them.