Brake Problems: 5 Warning Signs

February 23rd, 2016

Brake inspections are an easy way to keep you safe on the road. Routine inspections of your tires and brakes give you peace of mind while commuting on our busy roads. A great time for these inspections is when you get your tires rotated, for most drivers this is every 6 months. Any Dekalb Tire location will rotate your tires and check your brakes at no charge. In between rotations, here are some early warning indicators that can alert you to possible brake problems.


  1. Unusual Sounds: The first indication that something may be wrong with your brakes is an unusual sound. These include:
    • High-Pitched Screeching
      • Some brake pads have a piece of metal embedded in them that will make a screeching sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced.
    • Chattering
      • This noise can be an indication that something is loose – maybe a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have serious trouble stopping the vehicle.
    • Grinding
      • This noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor.
  2. Temperamental Brake Petal: A mushy pedal, one that goes practically to the floor before engaging the brakes, could indicate worn pads or a problem with the hydraulic system. You could also experience a hard pedal, one that causes the brakes to grab immediately at the slightest touch.
  3. Vibration Under Normal Braking Conditions: When you quickly stop in a car with antilock brakes, you may recall feeling a rapid brake-pedal pulsing that comes from the quick grabs the system applies to the rotor to slow the car. But if your brake pedal pulses in this way under normal braking conditions, that could be an indication of warped rotors.
  4. Vehicle Pulling: If your vehicle pulls to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid.
  5. Dashboard Brake Warning Light: If your brake warning light comes on while you are driving, it could mean that your brake system is low on fluid because of a leak or a problem with the brake master cylinder.

If you notice one of these warning signs, stop by your local Dekalb Tire and Automotive Service. And if you ever have any tire or automotive repair questions give us a call at (404)252-9895.

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101