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Seven Things That Can Indicate Brake Failure


Most people agree that your brakes are the most important safety system of your vehicle. They are vital to your safety, but do you know how to detect the signs of failing brakes? Here is a close look at some of the signs that may indicate brake failure with your vehicle:

Strange noises
If you hear a screeching or grinding sound while your braking, your brakes need immediate attention. The most likely cause is that the pads are worn out and need to be replaced. It is important to do this as soon as possible because it can lead to further damage requiring more expensive repairs.

A hot or burning smell
Overheated brakes will put off a hot burning smell. It is important to note that this is not normal and should be brought to the attention of an auto technician immediately. Overheating brakes can be caused by many things and if not repaired could lead to further damage to your braking components.
Low brake pedal
This one can be a bit tricky to recognize because a brake pedal typically gets closer to the floor over time. This itself is annoying and having to press farther and harder on the brake pedal can be dangerous. With the engine running press and hold the brake pedal. It should stay in-place. If the brake pedal moves lower and lower towards the floor, then you have a serious braking issue and you need to bring in to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary to have it looked over.

Vehicle pulling to one side or the other
If your car pulls to one side or the other when braking, it means that something could be wrong with your brakes. This can happen when one side of your front brakes works better than the other, so that wheel slows the car more than the other side. This can be very dangerous because the car will be very hard to control if you must do an emergency stop. This condition can be caused by several different things so you need to get it by to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary to have us figure out what needs to be done to get your vehicle braking in a straight line.  Now another issue can cause the vehicle to pull and that is the wheel alignment. To see if you have a possible alignment issue you can do this simple test. When driving a flat smooth road, carefully take your hands off the wheel and see if the vehicle tracks straight. If it pulls to one side or another then you may need to have the vehicle aligned. Understand that tire pressure can also influence how the vehicle tracks and how the vehicle brakes, so make sure all your tires are properly inflated before jumping to any conclusions. If this is all too much for you to take in, have one of our technicians at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary inspect your vehicle.

Bad vibrations
If while holding the steering wheel you feel a vibration or the entire car starts shaking, it could mean your brake rotors are warped. Vibrations will mostly happen from the wheel, but they can also affect the whole car. Normally as the brakes get hotter (from use) the shaking can get worse. This is an urgent problem, so if this happens to you regularly, it is best to stop in to have one of our technicians look things over.

A dash light for brakes is “ON”
If your dashboard lights up with a brake warning, it could mean everything from low brake fluid to a serious condition failure. Low brake fluid is something that happens are your braking components wear. Don’t be too quick to fill the brake reservoir up as when the brakes are serviced the fluid will then overflow. Now a brake warning light could be due to a leak within the braking system.  Again, if you have this light “ON” don’t delay in getting your braking system checked out.

The brakes click when applied
All car manufacturers install a device that prevents any sound when pressure is applied to the brakes. If you hear a short click, then this indicates that something within the braking systems is loose or that the brake pads need replacement. Both of these conditions need to be checked out right away.

Brakes are without a doubt the most important safety system of your vehicle. They are necessary for the safety of you, your passengers and the people around you on the road with you. If you are experiencing any of these indicators with your vehicle, you should visit Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary to get this checked out. For more information on braking systems, visit our website at




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