The brakes of your car do not rely on electricity or complex mechanics. Both of these methods of operation would result in too much uncertainty in their function. Electricity can be disrupted in lots of small ways, and mechanical components are usually complex and prone to breaking.
Instead, your brakes use hydraulics. This means that they use force that is multiplied by the motion of fluid that runs through your car. This is why pressing your brake pedal can stop your car even if it is going dozens of miles per hour. The big weakness is brake fluid leaks.
If your brake fluid leaks, then your brakes become less responsive. If you lose all of it, you could be in danger. So, how do you know if your brake fluid is leaking? And how do you stop it?
How do You Know if You Need a Brake Fluid Change?
The last thing you want is to only find out you need a brake fluid change once you try to stop at a red light and find yourself coasting into a four way intersection. No, the much more preferable situation is to have an idea of what brakes feel like when they need a fluid change early.
So, here are a few of the symptoms of brakes with low or leaky fluid.
- Soft, Unresponsive Brakes
When we say “soft” brakes, we mean brakes that do not respond the instant your foot is on them. Imagine kicking the side of a brickwork house. You will feel the house hit you as hard as you hit it. That is what you are looking for. What you are not looking for is the feeling of kicking a pillow, which will absorb your foot a little bit before it stops you no matter how firm the pillow is.
- Smells When Braking
This can be a hard one to catch, as the action of braking happens so quickly. But if you have any odd smells in your car that seem to go away as quickly as they appear, then this is a likely explanation. It eludes people because they are usually focused on braking when it happens.
- Fluid Under Wheels
When brake fluid leaks it does not pool beneath the car like oil, or behind the car like condensation. It runs down the wheels and drips off the side. Check if your wheels leave moisture behind when it seems like they shouldn’t, as that is a red flag.
Visit us to Get Your Brake Fluid Changed
Chances are, based on the fact that you are reading this article, you already have reason to believe that your brakes need to be looked at. That is a very responsible approach to take, as it means you are thinking ahead. If you need an appointment for a check-in or repairs, call 510-793-6067. We will get you a quote on what you need and set up an appointment.