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Brakes are obviously are a cruical part of car safety. But keeping them in peak condition can also have its economic benefits, such as better fuel efficiency, and less chance of having extra cost in repairs from the brakes effecting any other mechanical parts of your vehicle.

For these reasons, we have provided some common questions that are asked to make sure your brakes will never fail you.

Is the brake warning light illuminated on the dashboard?

Brake Light

The brake warning light usually alerts you to the handbrake being engaged and if this light is still illuminated after release, this light may indicate low brake fluid level. If this is the case, make sure to fill this up with the correct brake fluid, or take it to your nearest workshop to be sure.

Low fluid levels could be a sign of the hydraulic brake circuits failing. If this is not the case and your brake fluid level is correct and the light still illuminates, it may indicate a sensor fault, which can be fixed by a qualified professional.

Does your vehicle pull to one side?

Steering Alignment

If your vehicle pulls to one side whilst braking, there could be a problem, or you may have loose suspension. With a pull that is consistent, this is more likely to be related to wheel alignment, which is also very important to fix.

When braking a single brake may stay applied after released, giving a pull to one side. Combine this effect with a burning smell and this may suggest a brake related pull, which will need to be repaired as soon as possible.

Does your brake pedal feel spongy?

Brake Pedal

When your brake does not have that firm feeling as usual, it could be due to many complications and this can become very unsafe for yourself and passengers and must be diagnosed by a qualified professional as soon as you notice any change. Some of the most common causes of having a spongy brake pedal are:

1. Having air in the brake line - this would mean that your line cannot provide enough brake fluid, reducing the pressure applied to the brakes.
2. Damaged brake lines - alike to having air in the brake line, your brake fluid will not be pushed through with enough pressure as your line will not be airtight.
3. Bad brake disc callipers - these can become corroded which can cause the internal piston to leak brake fluid, making it feel soft.

Does it take longer for you to stop than usual?

Rear Brakes

This usually happens through general wear and tear of brakes, as the applied pressure of the brakes can wear down your brake pads, making stopping take a lot longer, which can be even more important as we move into colder months.

If you think your brakes are not as responsive as they used to be, visit your nearest Evans Halshaw workshop.

Can you hear a grinding or squeaking noise when you brake?

Brake Pad

Sometimes a grinding noise can be due to the driving conditions, including humidity and very severe braking, but if this is something that is an often occurrence, it could be an issue with the brakes.

The brake pad squeezing against the metal rotor can create a squealing sound, which can be rectified by changing the brake pads if they are worn. Make sure all of brake repairs are carried out by a qualified professional, using the approved parts for the job.