Car Maintenance 101:What are the first signs of brake problems?

It is absolutely vital for any car owner to make sure that his vehicle’s brake system is in tip-top condition. Neglecting maintenance, especially for brakes, can lead to road accidents and bigger expenses. Thankfully, red flags for brake problems in used Mercedes parts are easy to spot. Below are the top 7 ones you should watch out for.

Brake lights on the dash

Dashboard brake lights can be alarming. It can mean several things. If you have not had your car looked at in six months, it could just mean that your Mercedes is due for a maintenance checkup. It can also indicate another problem under the hood. If your dash brake lights are on, there is a possibility that you have left your brakes engaged. You should check if you were able to fully release the pedal because there are instances when the brakes are left engaged. This can cause burnouts during the drive. If the lights go off after full release, then you have at least solved the problem. If they still blink, however, it is best to bring it to the shop.

Apparent metallic noises

One of the most common indicators that there is something wrong with your brakes is a metallic noise. This can range anywhere from subtle squeaking to more jarring squealing or grinding, usually while your vehicle is moving. High pitched noises usually indicate brake pad wear. As brand new Mercedes parts could be pricey, you can look into purchasing used Mercedes parts under the supervision of a trusted mechanic.

Grinding noises while you are applying the brakes, on the other hand, could indicate gravel on your rotor or caliper, or lack of lubrication. The good is that problems indicated by these grinding noises could be easily solved, without much expense. If you have not gone for a brake checkup for a while, though, grinding noises can mean that your brake pads are worn out. Luckily, used Mercedes parts are also an option if you are working on a budget.

Wobbling, vibration or scraping

Wobbling in your wheel, a vibration or unexplained scraping sounds could indicate that your rotor needs to be either realigned or replaced. It takes a lot of mileage before rotors get worn out, but when they do, you must have them replaced right away so you won’t sacrifice the integrity of your braking system.

Fluid leak

A fluid leak can mean anything from condensation from your AC system to a leaky master cylinder. The latter is more serious because if your brake fluids are leaking, your brake system won’t produce enough hydraulic power to activate your brakes. This can be very dangerous especially if you are traveling at a fast speed.

Soft pedals

Any softness or sponginess on your pedals is an indicator that you must have your car serviced right away. For manual braking systems, your brake pedals should stop at around 3 inches above the flooring. Power brake systems can go as low as 1.5 inches but never lower than an inch from the flooring. The problems usually related to this symptom can range from moisture or air in your pipes or more serious damage concerning your master cylinder.

Pulling to one side

When you apply your brakes and you notice that your vehicle seems to be pulling on one side, this indicates that a brake caliper is applying more stress than the other. Unbalanced stopping can cause your vehicle to spin on the road. This is another sign that your vehicle is due for a checkup.

Burning smell

If you notice a burning or sharp chemical smell when you apply your brakes, especially while driving along a steep road, it’s a common indication that your brakes or clutch are overheating. Overheating your brake fluids is dangerous as it can lead to brake failure. Pullover and make sure that your brake pedals are fully released. If this happens chronically, it’s time to call the mechanic once again.

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