Brakes & Exhaust
Symptoms of bad car brakes can vary depending on the type of braking system in a particular vehicle, but many symptoms are common to all systems, and should be checked by a car mechanic as soon as possible. In addition, a quick response to these symptoms can result in a lower bill. A small part of the system often can be fixed, but if left to deteriorate, it can cause other components to wear out as well.
Squealing Noise – A common symptom of bad car brakes is squeaking or squealing when the brake pedal is applied.
Scraping Noise – If the squealing is ignored long enough, it can eventually turn into a grinding or scraping sound, as in metal-on-metal, indicating a serious problem.
Less Resistance – The brake pedal may feel spongy when applied, or it may offer less resistance and drop lower.
Vibration – or pulsation when applying the pedal indicates warped or improperly-finished rotors. Rotors can usually be adjusted once or twice before needing replacement.
Pedal Drops – If the pedal drops completely to the floor when pushed, it is likely a worn master cylinder or a brake fluid leak. Sometimes pumping the brake will bring it back up, but it is hazardous to drive a vehicle with this problem.