Common Symptoms Of Brake System Problems - Subaru Service Questions in Salt Lake City, UT

No matter how much engineering you put into the frame, the materials and the airbags, the most important safety feature on a car will always be the brakes. The ability to slow down and stop predictably is crucial to your safety on today's busy roads. If you experience any of these issues below, you might be in need of brake service. Here are six common symptoms of brake system issues, what often causes them and what we'll need to do to get them fixed at the Nate Wade Subaru service center.

Remember, we're an authorized Subaru service center with factory-trained service technicians and the highest quality OEM parts. That means nowhere in Salt Lake City does Subaru brake service better.

OEM Brake Service

6. Symptoms Of A Bad Brake Booster: Hard Brake Pedal

When you depress the brake pedal in your car, the brake booster helps to amplify braking force so you can stop quickly without expending too much effort. A problem in this system, such as a lack of vacuum pressure, can make the pedal difficult to press. It may require great effort to get any meaningful stopping power. Naturally, this can be a safety concern and lead to a fatiguing drive.

These symptoms can be caused by a problem with the brake booster, such as a failure of the diaphragm. If the pedal is downright impossible to move, there may even be a broken linkage between the brake system itself and the brake pedal at your feet.

Technician Bleeding Brake Lines

5. Symptoms Of Low Brake Fluid: Brake Pedal Falls To Floor

You might also experience the opposite problem in your car: a brake pedal that feels soft, mushy or even sinks toward the floor on its own. This is caused by a lack of pressure in the system, often a result of a low brake fluid level. If the brake fluid is leaking out of the braking components under the hood, the brake lines to the wheels or even from the brakes themselves, the brake system will start to underperform. To fix this problem, you'll want to have an expert technician find any leaks and replace or repair any offending components.

4. Symptoms Of Damaged Brake Rotors: Car Vibrates Under Braking

On most modern cars, stopping power is created by the brake system clamping down the brake pads on rotating discs mounted to the wheels called rotors. Over time, these rotors can become damaged. They can gather patches of debris from the brake pads, creating an uneven surface. They can be warped or shifted subtly out of position. They can even become scratched, cracked and scored by bad brake pads. As the brake pads pass over these imperfections on the brake rotors, it'll send vibrations through the steering wheel. It can even feel like the whole vehicle is shaking!

To get rid of this vibration, you'll likely need your brake rotors resurfaced or replaced.

Scored Brake Rotor

3. Symptoms Of Bad Brake Fluid: Brake Fade

Brake fluid transfers pressure from the brake system components under the hood through the lines to the brakes themselves. Over time, this fluid may need to be replaced. It can absorb small amounts of water from the atmosphere, which can boil from the heat of intense braking. Since a gas can be compressed far more easily than a liquid, boiling brake fluid can cause your stopping power to come on strong when you first press the pedal, only to quickly "fade" away.

Since brake fade can increase your stopping distance when making an emergency stop, you should have this problem addressed by the pros right away. We can test for the presence of water in your brake fluid and, if necessary, bleed the brake lines and replace the fluid.

2. Symptoms Of Failing ABS System: Brakes Locking Up

Before the advent of anti-lock brakes, cars could skid under hard braking. The brakes could potentially clamp down so hard on the wheels that they stop rotating -- allowing the forward momentum of the car to overwhelm the grip of the tires and send you into a slide. You're especially susceptible to this on wet or icy roads. Anti-lock brakes help you avoid this problem, ensuring the wheels will always rotate in a controlled manner, instead of an uncontrollable slide.

If your brakes are locking up, this can wreak havoc on your tires and can even be a safety risk in wintry weather. Typically, a problem with the ABS system will cause a dedicated ABS warning light to come on in the dashboard as well. ABS systems feature many sophisticated electric components that are best handled by authorized Subaru experts.

1. Symptoms Of Worn Brake Pads: Squeaking & Break Noise

Of course, the most common brake system maintenance procedure is simply replacing the brake pads. According to the owner's manual, all 2019 Subaru vehicles should have their brake pads inspected by a technician every 12,000 miles. On average, brake pads can last roughly 30,000 - 50,000 miles, but your mileage (quite literally!) may vary depending on the driving conditions you typically experience.

As your brake pads get near the end of their life, a wear indicator may begin to squeak as you brake. This is a sign that your brake pads are in the twilight of their usable lives, and need to be replaced soon. Not all brake system noises are worn brake pads, but it's smart to have your brake pads regularly checked, especially if you've got brakes that are chirping. As the saying goes, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" -- at Nate Wade Subaru, your squeaking brakes will get the very best service and the highest quality parts.

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Nate Wade Subaru

1207 South Main St
Directions Salt Lake City, UT 84111

  • Sales: (801) 658-9379
  • Service: (801) 328-1327
  • Parts: (801) 328-0061
  1. Nate Wade Subaru

    1207 South Main
    Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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    • Sales: (888) 586-8323

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