Signs My Brakes Are Going Bad and Need Servicing

We cannot stress enough how important it is that you get your vehicle’s brakes serviced when they need it. We here at RI Automotive never want you to know what it feels like to be unable to stop your automobile. A good rule of thumb is to have your brakes inspected every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Otherwise, bring your vehicle in right away if you notice any of the following signs of brake failure.

Warning Lights

Whether the ABS, Brake, or Low Pad dashboard warning light, heed any of these alerts seriously. These lights are turned on by your automobile’s engine control unit because it received an error from the brake system sensors.


If you’ve ever let your brake pad surface wear down to the backing, you know that your brakes will start to grind every time you use them. Other signs of brake trouble include squealing or squeaking noises every time you use the brakes.

Brake Pedal Vibration

If you have no brake pad surface left, your brake pedal or steering wheel may wobble or vibrate when you apply the brakes. The brake pedal may also vibrate if you have uneven rotor surfaces. Braking should be smooth without vibration.

Low or Leaking Brake Fluid

There are two things that will reduce the amount of brake fluid you have in your brake system. The first is a brake fluid leak that you will notice around your wheels. The second is low brake pads. It’s important you always have the correct amount of fluid in the brake system.

Sinking Brake Pedal

Your brake pedal should never sink, feel softer than usual, or feel squishy. If it does, you may have a problem with the brake hoses, such as air in them, or your brake system’s master cylinder may be going bad and needs to be replaced.


A broken brake hose, stuck caliper, or uneven rotor surface will cause your vehicle to pull to one side when you apply the brakes. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible, as your vehicle will continue to pull harder and harder every time you brake.


Finally, burning smells coming from your brakes indicate that the brake system is getting too hot and you run the risk of losing brake power. Many drivers describe the smells as burning chemicals or burning carpets. It might also smell like burning rubber.

Schedule an appointment with RI Automotive in Tampa, FL, for a brake inspection and service if you notice any of the signs above. We’ll make sure to fix the problem so you can rely on your automobile’s brakes.

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