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Brakes save lives. Ignoring the warning signs of faulty brakes can not only cost money in repairs, it can cost a life. In the Chantilly/Northern Virginia area, constant stop-start traffic can bring a lot of wear and tear to your brake system.
For a car-owner, the idea of malfunctioning brakes can be scary. At Casey’s Automotive, we understand how to diagnose and fix problems associated with your vehicle’s most important safety feature. To prevent an emergency from happening, know the warning signs of needed brake maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Below are three indications you should bring your car to a professional:
1. Lights up on the dashboard
The icons on your dashboard are not just for decoration. When one is lit up, it indicates there is something potentially wrong with your car. While dash lights and their meanings are not universal to every car, most of the time there are two associated with your brakes:
Brake System Light
If you’re seeing a circled red “!” there could something wrong with your brake system. The first thing to do when that sign comes up is to make sure you didn’t forget to release the emergency brake. If you’ve done that and the dash light persists, you might be dealing with a bigger issue. Most of the time the “!” indicates the car has low brake fluid. This can be caused by worn brake pads or a leak somewhere. Driving with either of these problems is dangerous and the car should be taken to a professional as soon as possible.
Anti-Lock Brakes Light
The Anti-Lock Braking system in your car prevents skidding while braking rapidly in panic-stop situations, or in rainy or icy weather. If an orange circled “ABS” light on your dashboard stays up for longer than a few seconds, there is probably something wrong with this mechanism in your car. Because the ABS system is crucial to maintaining control of your car in emergency situations, it is important that you do not ignore this warning sign. At Casey’s Automotive, we have the tools to perform a proper diagnosis and brake repair for people in the Chantilly, VA area.
2. Strange noises
Trust your instincts. For your own safety, if you can easily observe anything going on with your brake system, it is best to be proactive and take measures to remedy the problem. Often one way you can tell your brakes need fixing is by listening to them. High-pitch screeching usually means your brake pads are wearing out and getting low, whereas a grinding sounds means they have completely worn through. Grinding is a huge red flag not to be taken lightly.
“Pulling” is the term for when your vehicle veers to one side while braking. There are many reasons this could be happening, so it is best to not make assumptions, but some reasons are more likely than others. Uneven tire pressure or brake pads could be the source of the problem, as well as stuck calipers. The calipers are part of the disc brake system that cause friction to slow down your car.
Think You Need a Brake Repair? Casey’s Automotive Can Help.
The bottom line is: if you think there is something wrong with your brakes, it is dangerous to not get it checked out. Waiting can be costly. Having your brakes checked and repaired at Casey’s Automotive will guarantee a safer, healthier ride. We offer a brake inspection with every oil change, so you can avoid major repairs in the future. Why wait? Book an appointment online.