Almost all the vehicles on the market today are equipped with disk brakes. The only models that can be found today without front disk brakes are mainly small utility vehicles or models. Brakes are not like a power steering pumps or turbochargers, they will act different under every condition. Brake can fade and squeal or even crack depending on the way they are handled. So how can we know when we need to pay attention to the brakes on our cars? Failing brakes have many signs that most people will pass off as nothing but shouldn’t be ignored. Other signs people will pay attention but are actually not an issue at all, other signs could be both.
When the steering wheel shakes under braking, it is a classic brake failure due to warped disks on the braking system. Uneven deceleration due to warped disks can be down-right dangerous and make a car very difficult to control. If the issue is resolved early the brake rotors can be turned (sanded smooth) but if the issue is ignored, the rotors will become so warped they will be completely destroyed.
Brake fade is an issue that won’t face drivers outside of a race track but it happens when the brakes are used hard for a long period. Brake fade happens because the brake fluid becomes super-heated and cannot cause the proper force in the calipers. Brake noise is a common issue that many drivers have, most brake noise is just from super dense brake pads. When brake squeal can be heard it is a good idea to inspect the brake system to be sure there are no issues. Brake squeal can also be the “brake alarm” which is a small piece of metal that is on the pad to make a squeal to alert the driver that it is time for new brake pads.