Brake Repair: Know Your Noises
If anything is more annoying than the sounds your car makes when you suspect something is broken, it is trying to describe those noises to a car care specialist. When it comes to your braking system, you can familiarize yourself with a few common sounds that can help you determine if you need to have your vehicle checked or if it is a common noise that carries no threat.
One common and sought after upgrade for those who are into upgrading cars or have fix ‘er uppers is to install high performance carbon-metallic brake pads. This is a high-priced upgrade that to the dismay of consumers, makes noise. Unless you have an ability to tune out the sound, the only way to get rid of the sound is to change back to regular pads. Taking this situation to the mechanic, even a brake specialist, is only going to cost you a diagnostic charge to find out that you are out of luck.
Another situation in which the system is known to make noise is during steep grade or downhill driving.
You can get rid of some of the annoyance by decelerating via letting off the accelerator, but keep safety at the forefront. Drivers behind you are apt to appreciate seeing your lights in such a driving predicament, and it is probably best to just live with the screeches while you are in this particular environment.
You can also control your speed by down-shifting if the problem is that you are gaining speed going downhill. It is the heat generated friction from riding the brake that is causing the noise in this instance, and unless this is your normal driving condition, your system is probably okay. If you drive this route frequently, you may need to check into a special system for those who incur abnormal wear and tear.
If a noise is heard suddenly just prior to a complete stop, as opposed to the more common long screech throughout the process, a pad may be vibrating against a rotor. A professional may suggest the installation of vibration damper pads to address the issues; this may work, and it may not. Applying lubricant to the pads is an applicable suggestion, but you should defer to a car care specialist as misuse of such lubricants can cause damage.
Lastly, when the ABS is engaged, there is usually an accompanying noise. Refer to your owner’s manual for more details on your ABS. Always err on the side of caution. If you are unsure of the noise or the danger or lack of danger affiliated with the noise, just have it checked out for your own safety and for the safety of fellow drivers.
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