When your car or truck needs brake repairs, you don't want to put off getting this work done, even if the brakes are still functioning. Small problems with the brakes could become even bigger problems as time goes on so your vehicle's brakes might suddenly stop functioning altogether. That repair job could then also become a major expense. While some signs of needed brake repair are obvious, others are a bit more subtle; note a few of those signs here, so you know when to take your car in for servicing and know what might need to be done by way of repairs.
If a tyre or the car's steering wheel shakes while you drive, this could be a problem related to the tyre itself, including a loose lug nut or poor alignment. An underinflated tyre may also be prone to shaking or wobbling. However, if a brake pad has slipped out of position or is not releasing properly, it can cause this shaking or wobbling, as the tyre is then not rotating straight ahead but is getting caught on that faulty pad, causing it to shake. The pad may simply need replacing.
It's never good to ignore odd smells coming from under the hood of your vehicle, but a burning smell can be especially bad. This smell might be from the oil pan or transmission, but it can also mean that metal parts of the brakes are rubbing against each other, creating that burning smell, or that there is a leak of the brake fluid. When brake fluid leaks, it may burn away as it drips onto other areas of the engine compartment or exhaust, also creating a burning smell. If the oil pressure in the engine is good and the transmission functions properly, have the brakes checked.
If the brake light on the dashboard ever signals, even momentarily, you want to ensure that the parking brake is not engaged. If this brake is not disengaged, have the vehicle's brakes checked for needed repairs. That dashboard light is connected to sensors that are designed to alert you of any repair issues as soon as they're needed, and before the brakes outright fail. Those sensors may get triggered when you come to a sudden stop, or as the car moves and the sensors detect the level of brake fluid in the vehicle. The brake light can mean that pads are wearing down or that the fluid levels are low, so have the car's brakes checked if the light ever engages.