Do Your Brakes Need Some Love?

There are times when your brakes need a little tender loving care. In many cases, there will be definite indications of this.

These can be noises, a funny feeling in the brake pedal, maybe other things.

In this article, we will look at some of the things that may indicate your brakes need your attention and should be checked out before any serious problems occur.


First, let’s look at how today’s brakes function. Most cars today have disc brakes. These function in much the same way as the brakes on a bicycle does. When you squeeze the brakes on your 10-speed, a set of rubber pads grip both sides of the turning wheel rim and the resultant friction slows down the bike. It’s similar with a car except that instead of rubber pads, a hydraulic system filled with brake fluid squeezes the spinning rotors attached to each of your wheels with special brake pads. .

As you likely know, your brake pads will eventually wear down need to be replaced. During state inspections mechanics check the thickness of the brake pads to judge if that is the case. They should be some ¼ inch thick or more. If you have spoked rims on your car, you may be able to look through your wheel spokes and see yourself if the brake pads are in the ¼ inch or less range. Most of the time they are hard to see unless the wheel is taken off, though.

There is another indication that it may be time to have your brake pads replaced; a squeaking sound when you step on your brakes. Many brake pad manufacturers put little metal tabs on their brake pads that make a very distinctive squeaking sound when their pads wear thin. This will occur when applying the brake, not during normal driving. If you hear that sound, it’s getting to be time to see your local mechanic.

A “mushy pedal”, one that goes practically to the floor before engaging the brakes, is usually a problem with the hydraulic system itself, such as air in the brake line. This usually requires a common procedure called “bleeding the brakes”. Unless you are a skilled do-it-yourselfer, this is a procedure best left to professional mechanics.

Then there is the “pulsing brake pedal”. If your brake pedal pulses rapidly when you step on the brakes, then you may have one or more things going on. If your brake rotor is out-of-round or you have a stuck piston in your brake caliper assembly, your brake pedal may pulse.

In general, you can stay out of trouble in regards to your car’s brake system by just keeping your eyes and ears open for issues that occur when you use them. If you have further concerns, stop by the service department at

Source: Urse Dodge Chrysler Ram

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