4 Signs of Brake Trouble
You likely know the basics of car care, such as watching your oil, tire pressure, and other factors. However, brakes might just be the most important component to look after. Without good brakes, you’re at greater risk of a collision from a sudden stop. What’s more, poor break performance cuts down on efficiency and is generally not ideal for your Kia’s health. If you’re never quite sure when your brakes need to get looked at, check out these four signs of brake trouble.
When you press the brake pedal, your Kia should stop while continuing in the same direction. With uneven or weak brakes, however, you may notice that your vehicle veers to one side or the other. This happens when some of the brakes on your car are newer or of better quality than others. Make sure to change all of your brakes at the same time to keep them consistent, and don’t mix and match different brands. If you end up with uneven stopping with the same pads and the same age, you may have a problem with the fluid or other parts of the brake system.
Squeal On Stop
A small squeal when partly pressing the brakes down is common for some vehicles. However, if your Kia always squeals on a stop, regardless of how hard or light, there’s probably an issue with the brake pads. It’s worth checking to see how thin they’ve gotten, or if there are alignment issues. Remember that the squeal is only a concern if it’s consistent. Sometimes a light layer of rust on the rotors can cause a squeal the first few times you stop, and this is no big deal.
Bad Scraping On Stop
This is the most immediate sign to get your brakes checked out, and it’s no joke. Harsh scraping noises usually come from the brake pads being completely worn down, leading to metal on metal contact. This is often paired with far less efficient stopping power and can eventually ruin your rotors. Ideally you would check the other signs in this list and take care of any maintenance well before this starts to happen.
Worn Brake Pads
Finally, the most obvious visual test of your brakes is to look underneath your Kia, behind each tire, and see how thick the pads are. If you’re unfamiliar, brakes work by using hydraulic fluid to squeeze a pair of pads against the wheel rotors. This causes the pads to eventually wear thinner and thinner until they’re 1/4″ or less, at which point they should be replaced.
There are other signs of brake trouble, like a bad smell when braking, but these are the easiest to catch. Bad, worn, or missing brake pads are the start to a lot of other problems and a hefty service bill. Avoid that headache by sending your Kia to our service shop. It’s not always clear whether you just need new pads or if there’s a deeper issue that only a certified expert can diagnose and fix.