Brakes Behaving Badly: What Your Car's Brakes Are Trying To Tell You

If your car has been operating awkwardly, your brakes may be the culprit. Getting your brakes serviced is an auto maintenance issue that should not be overlooked or postponed. This is because continuing to drive with faulty brakes can cause more expensive damage to occur, such as damage to your car's rotors. The following are vehicle performance signs that you can use to determine if you need to have your brakes checked. 

Vibrating Sensation

This is a situation that may occur when you are trying to decelerate your vehicle. The vibration may occur at the location of the steering wheel, brake pedal, or it may feel as though your entire vehicle is shaking. This may be indicative that brake disc rotors need to be resurfaced.

"Pulling" Feeling

This sign of potentially faulty brakes shows itself as shifting a vehicle. It will seem to have more resistance on one side. You would likely find yourself trying to even out the "pulling" by steering your vehicle more towards the seemingly weaker side. 

Blackened Wheels or Rims

Darkened wheels and rims are indicative of accumulated brake dust, which could be settling on these areas of your vehicle as a result of brakes that have worn down. Try peering into the inner portion of the rim to see if you can see the brake pad. If it is worn down, you likely need new brakes. 


Brakes that need to be replaced may make several weird noises. Some drivers describe a grinding noise, and other drivers report high-pitched squeals or squeaking noises. Grinding noises are indicative of worn out brake pads. Squeals or squeaking noises are generally made when the safety mechanism on brake pads make contact with rotors or if brake pads have been put on incorrectly. Regardless of what you hear, noisy brakes are a sign that immediate attention is needed. Properly functioning brakes do not emit loud sounds.

Changes in Pedal Compression

If you notice that you need to push your brakes all the way to the floorboard, you may have a serious brake issue that could eventually result in the brakes malfunctioning altogether. This could also be a sign that a simple professional adjustment is needed to ensure proper performance.

Another compression issue that can occur is a pedal that becomes harder to push. This may occur if brake linings are damaged, hydraulic lines are blocked, or if portions of the wheel or calipers become frozen. 

If you experience any of these issues with your vehicle, an auto diagnostic shop is the best resource to use to determine whether you have a brake issue or another issue present. This is because some symptoms of faulty brakes may actually be related to another issue. For example, vehicle "pulling" symptoms may be the result of underinflated tires rather than brake issues.

Contact a center like Alaskan Auto Center Inc to learn more.