If you’re wondering what’s wrong with my Toyota’s brakes, you may need to call the experts at Toy Car Care in Centennial for an in-depth inspection. Toy Car Care are the specialists for all Toyota vehicles big and small, and we want to make sure you and your family are safe while driving. We all know the importance of braking systems on the vehicles we drive. Read on to learn why brakes may be acting up.
- Strange/loud noises: grinding, screeching or squealing sounds are not normal noises for your Toyota’s brakes, in fact, you really shouldn’t hear your brakes at all when you push in the pedal. This usually is an indicator to get brake shoes or pads inspected for wear and tear, and it is an important task that should not be ignored because it can lead to further damage, safety issues, and perhaps more costly repairs.
- Steering wheel vibrations/unusual brake pedal activity: if you are noticing the brake pedal acting up or pulsing at times, along with your steering wheel vibrating, this could mean a damaged rotor caused by rust, warping or excessive braking at high speeds. You will need to have a specialist such as Toy Car Care resurface the rotor for you, or replace it all together if the damage is too far gone. You can avoid this costly expense by ensuring your brake pads don’t get too worn out. Have them checked periodically.
- Veering when braking: this is sometimes called caliper freezing, which has nothing to do with freezing, but instead, a lack of lubrication. Calipers have small pistons that apply brake pressure to the wheel; but if debris gets inside there, it can cause corrosion and damage to the bore and a stuck piston which could result in uneven caliper pressure. At that point, there is no choice but to replace the caliper.
- A soft/spongy brake pedal: this is a serious indication that your brakes are failing, and requires immediate attention from a qualified technician. You may also notice how difficult it is to brake, even though you are pushing down with excessive force on the pedal. This almost always signifies that you have a leak somewhere in your braking system. The leak may be internal or external, but the loss of brake fluid means a loss of braking capability. Call Toy Car Care promptly.
- Burning smell: a burning smell from your Toyota’s brakes means that things are overheating. Not a good sign, especially after they start to cool down, and reheat once you return to driving. This most likely is just a brake pad and caliper adjustment and should be attended to quickly.
- Pedal sinking to the floor: a loud metallic sound could indicate you have worn down the brake pads completely. The grinding or growling noise is caused by the two pieces of metal rubbing together, which is the disc and the caliper. This can scratch your rotors, creating an uneven surface. The brakes and rotors will need to be “turned” to even out the rotor, or it may also require replacement.
- Vibrating: if you feel a sensation of vibration while pushing the brake pedal, it is probably a warped rotor or wheel alignment. Warped rotors are caused by severe braking for extended periods, for example, when driving down a steep mountain or when towing under heavy pressure. A significant amount of friction is created under these conditions, heating the rotors and causing them to warp quickly. You feel the vibration because the brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly.
- The brake light is on: this may or may not be one of your first indications of a problem with your Toyota’s brakes, but it is something you don’t want to ignore. Check that you don’t have your parking brake engaged first, and if the light remains illuminated, get it to the shop for inspection.
- Car pulling to one side: this could be a bad brake hose or a caliper issue, the result is unbalanced stopping.
- Bouncing or rocking: this may be a shock absorber issue versus an issue with your Toyota’s brakes, but either way, be aware that it will affect the way your car stops, especially if stopping short and could cause an accident.
How to handle a brake failure situation is simple, do not panic! First, turn on hazard lights, then pump the brakes for a few seconds to build up the pressure, if the pressure won’t build, slowly apply the emergency brake. If you can, try to slowly swerve back and forth as you move to the side of the road, this will simulate inertia. Bottom line, don’t take drastic measures, you could cause an accident.
No one likes to have to deal with the expenses of brakes, but neglected maintenance will inevitably end up causing you to pay more in the long run. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut schedule for when it’s time to replace the brakes. You must rely on your senses and the advice of an experienced technician. In general, most vehicles should have their tires rotated at least every six months, and that is a great time to have the brakes inspected, also. Your technician can check the thickness of the pads and the condition of the calipers or drum hardware to see if things are wearing down.
Here’s what to expect during an inspection of your Toyota’s brakes. A qualified technician will look for brake pad thickness, measured using a vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for disc pad/drum shoe minimum thickness and actual measurements. Next, they will check the discs for warping, marks or damage, followed by a brake line inspection to ensure the lines are soft and pliable without any cracks or holes that may cause leaking. You will also get a detailed list of the inspection.
Once you visit Toy Car Care, you won’t have to worry about your Toyota’s brakes. Instead, you will be grateful knowing that we take pride in our work, providing you with the most qualified technicians, state of the art equipment, as well as quality parts and repairs. Schedule an appointment today for a full inspection of your vehicle’s braking system and more.