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Auto clinic: Signs of a failing brake system.

Most people think that brakes stop a car. It is the friction of the tyres against the road that slows down and stops the car -- the brakes stop the wheels from turning. A failing brake system, hence, can take a toll on your speed, mileage and driving comfort. Look for the warning signs:

Warning light

Most modern cars have a dashboard warning that alerts you when there is a potential issue with the brakes.

Odd sounds

Grinding sounds are mainly two causes: Contact of the rotor disc with part of the brake caliper or a foreign object lodged somewhere in the caliper.

Temperamental pedal

When a brake pedal is functioning normally it should feel firm, as if it has a tight hold on the brakes. A spongy brake pedal is unsafe.

Visual cues

Rubber in the valves in master cylinders, calipers and wheel cylinders can deteriorate over time and contaminate the brake fluid. Hence, it must be changed every 30,000km.


If the car tends to pull to the right or left when braking, it indicates an issue with the braking system. This can occur if brake pads are worn excessively on one side.

Brake pad replacement

Brake pad replacement is the most common repair job for automotive brake systems as brake pads are designed to wear out. The pads rub on the brake disk to stop your car, so worn pads are the first part to check if you are experiencing any braking problems.

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Apr 26, 2017
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