If you are concerned about the performance of your brakes or would like them checked before going on a long journey, please book an appointment and our expert brake technicians will complete a free, no-obligation brake inspection.
Do I need a brake inspection?
There are a number of signs to look out for when using your brakes:
Grinding - When the friction material on brake pads are heavily worn, this can result in a grinding noise as the brake pad has worn down to the metal calliper. This will likely damage the brake disc also.
Squeaking - Squeaking could suggest the brake calliper has stuck and the brake pads remain partially applied to the disc, but some pads have wear indicators that squeal when worn to let the driver know the brakes need changing. Either way, you should get this checked.
Pulsating - If you feel a continuous pulsating from the brake pedal when you apply the brakes, this indicates the brake disc has become warped due to excessive heat. Pulsation occurs because the brake disc is distorted and no longer provides a perfectly flat surface when the brake pad makes contact. If this only occurs when you apply the brakes firmly, it could just be the ABS working, but you should have this checked if you are concerned or it happens regularly.
Pulling - If your car pulls to the left or right when you apply the brakes this is usually indicative of a sticking hydraulic or mechanical component such as a seized calliper. An inspection can identify the precise reason for this occurring.
Sponginess - The brake pedal feeling spongy and the brakes seeming unresponsive is a sign that air has entered the brake lines and is preventing the brake fluid from flowing through the system effectively.
Soft Brake Pedal - If the brake pedal is limp and goes down to the floor, you may have a serious braking system fault and should have this inspected immediately. A brake pedal that is soft and can be applied all the way to the floor usually means the brake fluid needs replacing, but there can be several other reasons such as a master cylinder fault.
Dashboard Light - If a brake warning light appears on your instrument panel either continuously or when you apply the brakes, it usually means the brake fluid level is critically low. This could also indicate a leak in the brake hoses.
High Handbrake - If the handbrake is pulling up higher than normal, it may need adjusting. In modern cars, this is usually more than 6 to 8 clicks. If the handbrake lever reaches the end of its travel it will fail the MOT.
Old Brake Fluid - If your brake fluid is over 2 years old it may be losing its effectiveness since it has hygroscopic properties, meaning it absorbs moisture over time. This affects the properties of the fluid and negatively affects braking ability. Brake fluid should be changed approximately every two years but check your manufacturers handbook.
For safety, it's important to have your vehicle inspected as quickly as possible when you notice any of the above symptoms.