What Are The Dangers Of Faulty Brakes
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- Faulty brakes, Reduced braking efficiency, Brake warning light, Grinding noise, Worn brakes consequences
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Have you considered the dangers of faulty brakes? This article looks at the link between defective brakes and road accidents. Garage Equipment Supplies provide Brake Testing Equipment throughout Manchester and Cheshire offering full North of England supply. Find out more about the signs of faulty brakes.
The main danger of having faulty brakes on your car is reduced braking efficiency. With faulty brakes, your car won't be able to stop when you need it to, increasing your stopping distance and potentially causing skidding. If your brakes are utterly beyond repair, they could fail completely.
Any of these dangers could cause a serious accident, making your vehicle unsafe to be on the roads. Even if only one part of your brakes, such as the brake pads, are worn, they could damage other elements. Wear passing from the pads to the brake discs could cause significant and permanent damage. You will need to replace your brake discs completely, which naturally costs more money.
Defective brakes and road accidents
It's not surprising to know that defective brakes are one of the leading causes of road accidents. Data suggests that faulty brakes and defective components are the leading contributors to these accidents. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 4,000 traffic accidents were caused by defective brakes, according to the Department for Transport.
Not only do defective brakes cause accidents, they're also a leading cause of fatalities on the road. In 2018 there were 15 reported deaths caused by faulty brakes. This is a 67% increase on data from the previous year, according to industry analysis.
Spotting The Signs of Faulty Brakes
National surveys have determined that brake failures account for 1/5 of all road accidents caused by vehicle issues. This is higher than the rate of accidents caused by driver errors, showing just how dangerous faulty brakes can be.
Ensuring your driving skills and technique are safe is a major part of protecting road users. However, vehicle maintenance is just as important. Ensuring the safety systems on your vehicle are in good condition is vital. Here are some of the common signs to look out for that tell whether your brakes are unsafe.
1. The Brake Light Is On
The most obvious sign there is an issue with your brakes is if your brake warning light comes on. You'll notice it blinking at you on your dashboard. Some modern vehicles will have two separate warning lights, one for the brakes and the other for your ABS (Antilock Braking System). If one or both of these lights up, then you should arrange for your brakes to be serviced and repaired.
2. Squealing Noises
If you hear a squealing noise when you apply the brakes, this is likely to be the wear indicators on your brake pads screaming for attention. This is a safety feature designed to draw your attention to your brake pads. It's not always a sign that your brakes are done for, but you should have your brake pads replaced when this metallic squealing starts.
Therefore, as soon as you notice this noise, don't wait to replace your brake pads. Continuing to let them wear down only increases the risk and could lead to other components in your braking system becoming damaged. If your rotors suffer because of this, then you can expect some expensive repair bills. Fortunately, brake pads are one of the more affordable replacements.
3. Grinding Noises
If you continue driving with your noisy brakes, you'll notice that the squealing soon changes to a grinding noise. This means there is metal-on-metal contact taking place, which is a serious sign. This is the point at which your brake rotors start to take damage. As soon as your notice a grinding noise when you apply your brakes, contact a brake specialist. They can perform the necessary repairs and prevent your braking system from taking any more damage.
If your steering wheel starts shaking or vibrating when you apply the brakes, this means your rotors are most likely warped. Rotors are the big silver discs behind your wheel rim that your brake pads close on when you brake. If they are warped, their odd shape causes your car to wobble as you brake. This is another sign that you need to have your brakes inspected and repaired.
5. Leaking Fluid
Fluid leaking out of your brakes likely means that your master cylinder is worn out. This cylinder contains your brake fluid, which is where all the hydraulic power for your braking system comes from. When this fluid leaks out, your braking power is reduced, increasing the risk of an accident. Again, contact a brake specialist to have this issue fixed.
6. Soft Brake Pedal
Spongy brake pedals are another clear sign of an issue. If your brake pedal goes all the way to the floor when you press it, this is a serious sign and you should have it checked immediately. A soft brake pedal usually means there is moisture somewhere in your braking system or that your master cylinder is faulty. This is incredibly dangerous and you should fix it as soon as possible to keep you and other road users safe.
7. Burning Smell
Noticing a burning smell when you brake is a sign that your brakes or your clutch might be overheating. If you notice this smell regularly, it means you are at risk of complete brake failure. Seeing smoke coming from your brakes, along with the smell, means your brakes are in bad shape and you should pull over immediately to inspect them.
8. Car Pulling to One Side
If your car pulls to the right or left when you break, it's likely your brake callipers or your brake hose is faulty. When these components fail, they cause uneven pressure on your brakes, pushing the car to one side or the other. In most cases, you'll need a qualified brake specialist to diagnose the specific issue at hand.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU DRIVE WITH WORN BRAKES
Besides the embarrassment you'll feel when you screech to a stop at a red light with your brakes singing out in pain, there are serious consequences to driving with worn brakes. While brake issues can be annoying, you shouldn't ignore them. Here are some of the consequences of driving with worn brakes.
DAMAGE TO THE BRAKE ROTORS AND CALIPERS
The brakes on your car are an intricate system of connected moving parts. So, if one component becomes worn or damaged, it can quickly damage any neighbouring components it is connected to. This can cause a trickle-down effect, ultimately ruining your braking system.
For example, if your brake pads are completely worn out, they can cause further damage to the rotors. Remember this is the silver disk which sits behind your tyre. If the metal of your brake pads starts to grind against the metal of the rotor, it can cause significant damage. This is where you get the squealing and grinding noises from.
SLOW RESPONSE TIME
As the condition of your brakes becomes worse, the harder it will be to stop your car when you want to. Depending on the level of wear, your stopping times will be longer than usual. And if you aren't a diligent driver, this can lead to serious accidents. Sometimes your pads can become glazed and smooth, meaning you'll need to push the brake pedal harder to get the car to stop.
THE CAR VIBRATES WHEN BRAKING
Again, worn pads and faulty rotors can cause your car to wobble and vibrate when you brake. If your car stops juddering when you release the brake pedal, it's a clear sign this is the issue you're dealing with. It also means you should have your brakes serviced asap.
WEAR DOWN YOUR TIRES
Having faulty brakes means you'll be slamming on more than usual, which causes increased wear to your tyres. Repeated hard braking can ruin the tyres on your car, ultimately costing you more money in replacements and repairs.