Close image of rotor disc for brake pad repair | C&M Auto Service at Morgan Hill

Common Signs Your Car Needs Brake Repair: A Guide for Morgan Hill Drivers

A vehicle’s braking system is a critical safety feature – your first defense against crashing. As the brakes wear, they become less effective. Once the pads wear to a certain thickness, they are no longer effective. All brake pads come with a metal tab on the backing plate. Once the pad material wears down to the tab, it scrapes against the rotor, signaling the need for pad replacement.

C&M Auto Service Inc. in Morgan Hill CA provides brake repair and service to keep your vehicle safe. Additional signs you need to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop for brakes include:

Grinding Noises

When you hear a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, that is most likely a backing pad scraping the rotor. This is a serious issue, as there is no brake pad left to stop you – braking power has significantly decreased. Additionally, once that backing pad hits the rotor, the rotor is damaged beyond repair and cannot be machined.

Finally, once the brake pads get that low, there is a significant chance of overextending a caliper or collapsing a brake hose.

Vibrations and Pulsations

When you step on the brake pedal and feel a vibration or pulsation, there’s a good chance that one or more rotors are warped. Rotors can warp when they get too thin or when they get too hot. Rotors that are too thin can also crack. Warped and otherwise damaged rotors significantly decrease braking power.

Spongy or Soft Brake Pedal

A soft or spongy brake pedal could mean several issues, including:

  • Air in the brake lines.
  • Brake fluid leaks in a brake hose, brake line, caliper, wheel, or master cylinder.
  • Rear brake shoes need adjusting.
  • A malfunction in the ABS hydraulic assembly.

All of these conditions are serious and significantly affect braking distance. As they worsen, you could lose all braking power.

Burning Smell

When the brakes get hot, they emit a burning smell. If you smell it only when stepping on the brake pedal and you just went down a large hill, most likely the brakes are hot. Pull over and let them cool. If they start smelling again, you have more serious issues and need brake repair and service at C&M Auto Service in Morgan Hill CA.

If the brakes smell while you are driving – not stepping on the brake pedal, you most likely have a stuck caliper. This requires immediate attention and a tow to the auto repair shop.

Uneven Brake Pad Wear

On some vehicles, you can see the brake pads through the wheel spokes. If you can, you should check them every time you check the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires (once per month). If you see uneven wear on the brake pads – one side is thicker than the other – you may need an alignment, or a caliper is failing.

Abnormal Brake Pedal Travel

If the brake pedal feels hard when you press it or goes more than halfway to the floor, the master cylinder may be failing. It could also signify air in the brake lines or worn pads. A hard brake pedal or one that travels all the way to the floor is usually because the master cylinder is failing or failed. This requires immediate attention as it could suddenly fail at any time once it starts failing.

Dashboard Warning Lights

If the brake light illuminates, it typically indicates a problem with the brake system, such as low fluid. If the ABS light illuminates, you have issues with the ABS, which could be a sensor, the ABS computer, or other issues.

Need Brake Repair in Morgan Hill, CA? Reach Out Now!

Are you experiencing issues with your brakes? Don’t compromise your safety! Our expert team at C&M Auto Service Inc. is ready to provide top-notch brake repair in Morgan Hill, CA, ensuring you can hit the road with confidence. 
Don’t delay – your peace of mind is just a call away. Dial (408) 778-8218 or visit us at 16169 Caputo Dr., Morgan Hill, CA, to schedule your appointment and secure a safer, smoother drive today!

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