If you hear a grinding noise or screeches when you press down on the brakes of your car, there may be a problem with your brakes starting to wear down. While you are still able to use your brakes, the noise will continue to get louder until the brake pads have completely worn down. At that point, your brakes will no longer stop your car. If you notice that your brakes aren't slowing down your car as quickly, or you hear squealing when you use the brake pedal, it's time to have your brakes assessed by a professional.
Understanding Your Car's Brake System
The force you need to exert on your brake pedal is minimal compared to the force it requires to stop a vehicle when it's traveling down the road. Whether you slam down on your brakes, or you tap them gently, your action tells your car how quickly you need to stop your vehicle. When you press down, brake fluid goes to your brakes, putting the braking system into action. When you slam down on your brake pedal, your brakes are inundated with fluid and will press down hard to stop your vehicle.
Why Your Brakes Stop Working
Your brake pads touch down on your brake discs, causing friction in order to stop your vehicle. When the pads wear down, your brakes can stop working. If your brakes get too hot, there won't be enough friction to stop your car. In addition, if a slippery substance such as oil or grease gets on your brake discs, your brake pads won't provide enough friction to stop your car.
Your Brakes Will Show Signs of Failure
While squealing noises when you press down your brakes is a clear sign, so is the brake system light that will go on if you have a problem with your braking system. Your brake pads are wearing down if you hear a squealing noise, while grinding means the brake pads are virtually gone. When you are driving your car and your car pulls to one side, or you have problems with acceleration, this could be a sign of brake problems. If your brake pedal feels different than normal, you may need to have your brakes assessed.
When you have a vehicle making strange sounds while you are driving, it's time to have the problem inspected by a qualified mechanic. Listen to your car and for the signs that brake failure is starting to happen.