Do you ever get the feeling that there is something wrong with your car, but can't quite put your finger on it? Even more worrying, you may think that it has something to do with the braking system and are of course worried about your overall safety. So that you can help your mechanic understand what may be wrong, what do some of these specific symptoms mean?

Moving from the Straight and Narrow

When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, do you feel as if the vehicle wants to pull to a specific side, instead of going along a straight line? If this is the case, you are experiencing uneven wear rates on the brake pads. When one of them has more carbon left than the other, it will be more efficient and will try to steer the car to the corresponding side. You can test this by finding a quiet area with no other traffic and then braking from a slow speed, while only holding the steering wheel loosely.

Strange Feeling

Maybe you can feel a sensation through your foot when you apply pressure to the brake pedal? Some people refer to this as a "pulse" which seems to go on and off, but it is actually caused by vibration, once again due to failing brake pads. The pads have become out of shape due to excessive heat and they are not applying themselves to the brake disk evenly, as a consequence.

Audible Signs

You may actually hear a clicking noise by itself, or at the same time as any of these other symptoms. Brake pad manufacturers build in a device that is meant to give you a warning when the pads need to be replaced. When you put on the brakes this will activate the device, causing the clicking (sometimes rattling) noise to appear. Once again, this signifies that you need to get the pads replaced by your mechanic.

Consequences of Inaction

Any one of these issues needs urgent attention. However, if you are hearing that clicking sound and don't do anything about it then it will soon change to a rather annoying "grinding" sound. This means that the metal caliper is now coming into direct contact with the brake disc and the pads have worn away to nothing. You may have to get your entire brake disc system replaced in this case, so don't delay any further.