Look out for these 8 brake problems

If there’s one thing we don’t need to convince you of, it’s the importance of braking performance. As brakes are essential to your safety, that of your family and all the people you share the road with, regular maintenance is imperative. In fact, an inspection by a professional is recommended at least twice a year or every 10 000 kilometers.

Sometimes a visual inspection will be enough. Your mechanic will check the thickness of the pads and the general condition of the brakes. Some parts may also need to be lubricated or even replaced.

On average, you have to replace your brakes every three or four years. In the meantime, regular maintenance prevents many surprises and costly repairs, extends the life span of the brakes and above all, ensures greater safety.

In addition to maintenance, we recommend you pay close attention to the warning signs that could appear while driving your vehicle. Just like a doctor that specializes in cars, Point S shows you the eight brake problems to look out for including symptoms, possible causes and necessary action. To get a good understanding of what we will explain, let’s begin with a look at the components of a brake system:

Freins voiture 

My brake light is on

Most cars will alert you that your pads need replacement thanks to the brake indicator on your dashboard. Don’t panic when this happens! You still have several kilometers before wearing out your pads completely. That being said, it’s best to see to it right away.

Know that the brake light can also indicate your handbrake is engaged. In that case, be careful because driving like this too long can wear your brakes prematurely.

Unfortunately, the brake light sometimes stays turned off because of a wiring problem. Therefore, it’s important that at all times you listen to the various symptoms, noises and behaviors of brakes in poor condition.

My brakes squeak or screech

Squeaking or screeching brakes represent a common problem for drivers. When it occurs, get to your mechanic as soon as possible before the pads are completely worn, that is before they have no more lining. This would unfortunately break your rotors.

Possible causes:

  • The brake system gathers dirt and as a result, it can’t evacuate the dust from the pads;
  • Wear or friction of the pads;
  • Scratched, rusty or worn rotors;
  • The pads and rotors touch each other.

My brakes make a grinding noise

You hear a grinding noise, sort of like metal on metal? Unfortunately, this is never a good sign. Go to your mechanic as soon as possible. If you wait, you might have to replace expensive parts, such as the caliper or the rotor. Even worse, you could lose control of your car during emergency breaking.

Possible causes:

  • Pads worn significantly;
  • Rotors touching the calipers.

My brake pedal vibrates

Do you feel vibrations when applying the brakes? This feeling of jerky driving isn’t about to go away until you have your car inspected. Your mechanic might suggest evening the thickness of your rotors. However, in some cases you will need to change them.

Possible cause:

  • Wear causing rotor distortion

My brake pedal is softer or sinks all the way to the floor

The feel of your brake pedal has changed? It’s softer than usual or even sinks all the way to the floor? Do you see a puddle of brake fluid in your garage? You might need to schedule an appointment to replace the brake fluid. In all cases, we recommend having your vehicle inspected quickly by your mechanic, especially when there’s a leak.

Possible causes:

  • Contaminated brake fluid (air or water);
  • Leak in the braking system.

My car no longer brakes like it used to

Have you been noticing an increase in the braking distance for some time? This could be a sign of wear that requires attention. The loss of brake efficiency is one of the first signs of overheating, as well as complications of rotors and pads. Whatever you do, don’t adjust your driving because this problem means that your brakes need maintenance.

Possible causes:

  • Pad wear;
  • Distortion of the rotors.

My car pulls to the right or to the left when I brake

Does your car deviate from its path when you apply the brakes? Clearly something isn’t right. Such a problem can turn out to be very dangerous and must be resolved quickly.

Possible cause:

  • Frozen calipers

My brakes smoke or give off a burning smell

Let’s face it, this brake problem isn’t very reassuring. And you’re right. The smoke (or smell of smoke) you detect can be very dangerous. Get to your mechanic quickly, because such a problem affects the braking performance and can damage the entire brake system.

Possible causes:

  • Pad wear;
  • Frozen calipers;
  • Leak.


To sum up, here are the 8 brake problems. When one of them occurs, an appointment with your mechanic is necessary, since they are all to be taken very seriously:

  • My brake light is on
  • My brakes squeak or screech
  • My brakes make a grinding noise
  • My brake pedal vibrates
  • My brake pedal is softer or sinks all the way to the floor
  • My car no longer brakes like it used to
  • My car pulls to the right or to the left when I brake
  • My brakes smoke or give off a burning smell


Don’t wait any longer and have your brakes maintained or replaced at Point S.

We promise to:

  • Handle all emergency brake vases. All you have to do is get to your nearest Point S dealer;
  • Provide you with a guarantee on labor;
  • Always be near you: 220 dealers across the country;
  • Be 100% transparent: no surprises on your invoice.

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