At Bifferato Gentilotti, LLC, we help clients who have been in car accidents seek compensation, including those who have been hurt due to a defective or broken auto part. As much pride as we take in providing excellent legal counsel to the wrongfully injured, it would be great to see a decline in the number of crashes happening in Wilmington and other nearby cities and neighborhoods. To help keep you out of trouble, we would like to share a few tips about when to get your car’s brakes inspected or replaced. Quite often, if a vehicle defect causes an accident, it was a defect with the brakes, so these parts of your car require more attention than most.
Four easy-to-spot signs that there is a problem with your brake pads are:
- Squeaks: Your brakes should be silent when you use them. If you hear squeaking or squealing sounds when you hit the brakes, then it is a telltale sign that the brake pads have thinned. With less padding between the brake pad and the wheel, the increased friction causes a terrible noise.
- Crunches: A crunching or grinding sound when you hit the brakes is even worse than a squeak. This sound usually indicates that the brake pad is not just thin, it is practically gone. It is caused by metal-on-metal grinding due to an absence of a brake pad.
- Shakes: Braking your vehicle should be a smooth process. If your car starts to shake when you apply the brakes, then it could be an issue with the brakes and the rotors. Typically, a malformed rotor will make the brake pads misalign on the wheel. When the brakes are applied, the pad bumps, again and again, causing your car to shake as it slows down. Damaged rotors can be expensive to repair, especially if the issue is also damaging your brake system. Call a mechanic as soon as possible if your car shakes like this.
- ABS light: Your car’s dashboard is meant to act as an early warning system for a lot of problems, including those related to your brakes. If the ABS light comes on, then it means there is some sort of problem with your car's Antilock Braking System. Sometimes the problem is as simple and benign as a slight misalignment that a mechanic can fix with a computer diagnostic. Other times, the problem is as serious as a brake defect that could prevent your car from coming to a safe stop.
You should also pay attention to sudden differences in your car’s braking performance that aren’t accompanied by any of the previously mentioned warning signs. The brake system is more than just brake pads, so there could be a problem with another part. Overall, if your car becomes more difficult to slow down, then there could be a pressing issue with your brakes, and we recommend you get a professional mechanic to take a look at them as soon as possible.
If you are in a car accident and you don’t think it was your fault, perhaps due to an unexpected brake defect, then you can contact our firm. It might be that the auto part manufacturer is to blame for selling a dangerously defective product. We can help evaluate the situation and determine if and how you should pursue a claim for compensation.