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Why Does My Car Shake When I Press The Brakes? To keep you safe on the busy North Carolina roadways, you need a braking system without issues. It’s imperative to have your brakes inspected periodically to ensure that everything is in perfect working order. Though most vehicles have sensors that tell you when things like fluids are low, it won’t tell you if your brake pads need replaced.
Here at Carolina Auto Care, we deal with many break issues. The most common thing that can happen to your braking system is that your pads will wear thin. The little pads are located inside your caliper, which is then surrounded by the brake disk. When you apply pressure to your brake pedal, it activates this system, and the pad presses against the rotor, causing friction to make the vehicle stop.
When your brake pads get worn to a certain level, you will hear a squealing noise when you press the brakes. These are most likely indicators built into the pad to let you know that you’re nearing the end of the life expectancy of this part. Now, you have the option to replace them with a few different types, which include:
Ceramic is a superior option for replacement, but it’s the costliest. The non-metallic are usually noisy and cover your wheel with the unsightly black brake dust. The most commonly used pad is the semi-metallic as they’re cost-effective and are low noise. It makes it even easier if you pay a bit extra for the lifetime pads, as you can replace them for free for the car’s life.
Those Squealing Brakes
Any noise that comes from your braking system, when you press the brakes, needs to be evaluated. Here at our Winston Salem garage, many people bring their cars in when the pads are so low, they’re dangerous to be on the roads. When the pad is too low, the materials will eventually all wear away, and you will be left with the metal that held it. Now, this is where it gets tricky.
The pad helps filter some of the heat caused by the system’s friction, but when it’s not there, it’s metal-on-metal when you stop. It’s an unsightly noise as bad as nails on a chalkboard, but it’s surprising the number of people that continue to drive when their braking system has issues. Here’s where things get tricky; all that extra heat getting to the other parts can cause abnormal wear, like your rotor.
The Shaking in Your Braking System
If you apply the brake pedal and your car is shaking, it’s likely caused from warped rotors. Each time you get your brake pads changed, you should replace or have your rotors turned. The rotor is a large circle that can be turned a couple of times to remove any imperfections. However, they need to be replaced eventually.
Upon breaking, the shaking you feel in your front end is caused by the pad hitting the warped rotor. Do you remember the old records that were popular in the previous decades? This vinyl material was great for playing songs, but it would warp if you left it out in the sun. When the needle tried to play, it would skip and jump all over the record due to the warping.
The same thing is happening to your rotor. The ridges and imperfections in the rotor aren’t allowing the braking system to make complete contact, so it jumps or skips. One of the dangers of driving on pads that are too low is that you’re going to cause rotor damage too, and the cost keeps adding up.
Every time you engage the brakes when you hear that metal-on-metal sound, you’re eating into the rotors and causing irreparable damage. To make matters worse, driving on a warped rotor comes with its risks, as the rotor can crack. When the rotor becomes too thin or damaged, it can break, and pieces fall off. Now imagine being in traffic in the Winston Salem area and trying to slam on those brakes.
Getting Help at the First Signs of Trouble
Another thing to consider is that when the pads are nearly gone and the heat is abundant in this area, it can also warp the calipers. The heat caused by friction can reach upwards of 570 degrees, so when your pads aren’t there to buffer this intense heat, it can damage many parts.
The best thing to do is get the car into our garage as soon as you hear those pad indicators going off. These little indicators are trying to tell you that you need new brakes. Better yet, you can have a routine inspection periodically from one of our qualified technicians to ensure everything in your braking system is working as it should.
We can identify warping issues and indicate how long is left on your brake pad life. The last thing you want to do is be on these busy highways around North Carolina and have brake failure, as it could be catastrophic. Call us today to schedule your brake examination!