If your vehicle seems to be acting up each time you hit the brakes, you’ve no doubt wondered whether it’s safe to continue driving it. Although a variety of issues can cause problems while braking, one of the most prevalent is damaged or worn brake rotors. If left unrepaired, damaged rotors can significantly compromise your ability to stop your vehicle, which presents a major safety hazard. At AA Auto Tech, it’s our job to help you keep your vehicle in safe working condition, so if you’ve noticed any of the following issues, it’s time to call us for a brake inspection.
Your Steering Wheel Vibrates
Under normal circumstances, when you engage your vehicle’s brakes, the brake pads make continual contact with the rotors’ smooth surfaces and slow the vehicle to a stop. If, when you engage your brakes, your steering wheel wobbles or vibrates, that may be a sign that your rotors have warped or twisted.
Because a brake pad cannot make continual contact with the warped rotor, when the rotor spins beneath the pad, it generates a shudder as the pad continually contacts the contours in the metal surface. If your steering wheel has recently developed a shudder, it may be time for a rotor replacement; however, various other issues may also cause steering wheel vibrations, including:
● Unbalanced tires
● Misaligned tires
● Worn brake pads
● Sticky brake calipers
● Loose wheel bearings
Due to the variety of possible causes, steering wheel vibrations require a diagnosis from a qualified automotive technician. Allowing the issue to persist unchecked can cause significant damage to various components of your vehicle.
Engaging Your Brakes Causes Screeching Sounds
Dealing with embarrassing screeching sounds each time you hit your brakes? While annoying, this super common sound is typically the result of one of two issues:
● Rust on the rotors. When you park your vehicle outdoors overnight, moisture collects on the brake rotors, which causes a very thin layer of rust to develop on their surfaces. When you drive your vehicle in the morning, the brake pads make contact with the rust and begin scraping it away from the rotor surface. When rust embeds in the brake pad, it can cause a temporary screeching noise when you engage the brakes, but the sound typically persists for only a few miles of driving.
● Worn brake pads. Brake pads don’t last forever, so to alert you to the need for brake pad replacement, each pad comes equipped with a wear indicator. When you engage worn brake pads, their indicators make contact with the rotors, which produces screeching, squealing, growling, or grinding noises. These noises are a surefire sign that it’s time for brake repair or replacement.
If you continually ignore screeching or grinding brake noises, your rotors can suffer irreparable damage. Keep in mind that rotor replacement is far more expensive than a routine brake job, so the earlier you have the issue diagnosed, the less expensive repairs will be.
You Can See Damage or Color Changes
If your rotors are in good condition, they should appear smooth, unblemished, and silver in color. If you can see your rotors through your tires’ rims, and you observe cracks, scoring, reduced thickness, or areas of blue discoloration, these visual changes typically indicate significant rotor wear. At your earliest convenience, take your vehicle to your local auto repair shop to have your brakes inspected and serviced.
Need Brake Repair? Contact AA Auto Tech Today
If you believe your vehicle’s brakes have been acting up, don’t hesitate to contact our team at AA Auto Tech. For over 25 years, our expert technicians have been servicing all makes and models of vehicles throughout the Hastings, MN area, and we’d be happy to get yours back in safe working order, too. We specialize in both auto repair and preventative maintenance, so no matter what’s going on with your car or truck, we’re here to help you find the solution. To learn more about how we can help you take great care of your vehicle, give our team a call at 651-437-2218 or reach out to us on our contact page.