NAPA AUTO PARTS Spotlights Key Brake-Related Warning Signs,
Encourages Preventive Maintenance
ATLANTA--Pressing down on the brakes and not knowing how well they’ll
be an unnerving situation. Given that Americans spend 4.2 billion
a year constantly using their brakes in traffic, it's obvious
brake maintenance is important. However, since brake replacement
timeframes vary anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, recognizing
brake warning signs is imperative to avoid a complete brake failure.
In an effort to keep drivers protected and save them money, NAPA’s
Technician of the Year, Jack Gregory, offers advice on what those
warning signs mean and why you should pay attention to them.
Hear loud or frequent squeaks or grinding – A sound
built into the brakes alerts drivers when replacements are needed.
a metal scraping sound occurs, the brakes have worn down to the
and need to be fixed.
Smell an acid, burning odor – Problems with calipers
or hanging up, as well as problems with the brake hose can produce
scent. Heavy braking also can cause an unpleasant odor. “As soon as
the driver smells the odor, I recommend bringing the vehicle to an
ASE-certified technician who can diagnose the source and fix the
problem before it gets worse,” said Gregory.
Feel your brake pedal “squish” or become difficult to
Squishy brakes indicate air in the brake system caused by problems
with the master cylinder, possibly a leak. Difficult to depress
are also often caused by a malfunctioning power booster.
Feel shuddering or a continuous vibration in the steering wheel
Brake rotors or brake drums can trigger the vehicle to shake. “If
feel this shuddering for an extended period of time, it’s a warning
sign to have your brakes inspected,” notes Gregory.
See rust or metal flakes peeling off your brakes – When the
vehicle brake pads are worn and hit the rotors, rust or metal
See the brake system warning light turn on – A vehicle’s
light usually warns the driver about worn brake pads. “The brake
can also indicate low fluids levels in the master cylinder,
caused by a leak,” added Gregory. “Either way, it’s important to
the problem addressed quickly before the brake system completely
malfunctions putting you and others in danger.”
To extend the life of a vehicle’s brakes, Gregory recommends staying
alert and anticipating braking by slowing down before stopping is
When replacement brakes are needed, NAPA recommends Adaptive One
pads due to the specially engineered friction material on the inboard
and outboard brake pad. One pad provides the superior stopping power
while the other pad is designed to reduce noise and brake dust.