Do you own your own vehicle? When did you last have your vehicle inspected, especially your brake system? Unfortunately, brake pads and rotors can wear out over time, causing potential issues. Here are some signs that it's time to take your vehicle in to have its brakes checked out:
Squealing or other strange noises: Brakes that are in good condition should obviously make no noise at all. But bad brakes aren't always signified by the high-pitched squealing noise you might expect. Worn out brakes can also cause a grinding noise, sometimes accompanied by vibrations. The grinding and vibrations are caused by pads or rotors that have worn away almost completely, allowing metal to scrape against metal. If you've been hesitant about taking your vehicle in to get checked out because you're expecting potentially costly transmission repairs, it may simply be that you need to have brake services performed on your vehicle.
Difficult steering: If your car is starting to pull to the left or the right, this could be an issue with the brake system and not the steering system. As your brake pads wear out, the calipers that hold them into place may get stuck at seemingly random times. If a caliper on the left side gets stuck, that means that the brakes will still be at least partially applied to the left side of your vehicle, causing it to try to pull or drift to the left. Having your favorite brake services center replace the pads and lubricate the sticky caliper should alleviate the situation.
Mushy pedal: You shouldn't have to stomp your brake pedal to the floor for it to work. It should only take a relatively light touch. If your pedal is mushy and unresponsive, make sure to check your brake fluid levels as soon as possible. A brake pedal that needs to be stomped on can indicate a leak in your brake line. If your fluid levels are fine, you should take your vehicle to your brake services center for them to check it out. There may be air in the line, possibly requiring them to drain and refill your brake fluid in order to get the system working again. If that isn't the issue, the next most likely cause is that your pads or rotors have almost completely worn out. While worn pads and rotors can cause squealing and vibrations, as already stated, you may not immediately notice anything amiss aside from having to push the brake pedal down further than usual.
To learn more, contact a brake services company near you.