Things That Could Be Wrong With Vehicle Brakes - Service Information to Know from Hanson KIA

When it comes to keeping you safe, there are few systems as important as the brakes. This means that it's especially important to pay attention to them. At Hanson Kia, we want to make sure that you have important information on your vehicle, which is why we've put this page together. Below, you'll find six common symptoms of brake trouble If you notice any of these, you should have your car looked at immediately. And, if you feel that something is wrong but can't quite place your finger on it, we recommend that you stay on the safe side. After all, you know better than anyone else what your vehicle's brakes should feel like.

A master cylinder in an engine.

6. Burning Smell

Unless there's a campfire or a cookout nearby, a burning smell is rarely good news anywhere. When you smell a harsh burning smell in your car, it could be a sign that the brakes are overheating. This is due to excessive friction, and could indicate that the braking system isn't working as it should. A burning smell could also be caused by a bad clutch or other issues.

A person works on a disc brake.

5. Brake Fluid Leak

The brakes in your Kia are a powerful hydraulic system. As such, they require hydraulic fluid to work. Since the system uses this fluid to increase the brake force, you'll need it in order to stop safely, and a brake fluid leak could spell trouble. The calipers may not be able to clamp the brake pads onto the rotors with enough force to stop your vehicle in time. A leak near the master cylinder is likely to be brake fluid, but any kind of leak can damage your vehicle and put your life at risk.

4. Your Vehicle Vibrates When You Brake

If your car vibrates when you brake, the rotors may be warped. This means that, when the brake pads press against the rotors, they'll jump and skip as the rotor turns. It may be possible for the rotors to be refinished, or they may need to be replaced if the damage is bad enough. As soon as you feel vibration, it's best to stop driving. This way, your rotors have a better chance of suffering only minor damage. Continuing to drive and brake may warp them further.

A brake pad.

3. ABS Light Comes On

The antilock brake system, or ABS, makes hard braking safer. Before ABS, slamming on the brakes would often send a vehicle into an uncontrolled skid, so drivers were taught to pump the brakes instead. ABS does the same thing, but much faster than a human foot could manage. If the ABS light on your Kia becomes illuminated, it's a sign that this system is not functioning as it should.

2. Soft Brake Pedal

You've driven your Kia for a while, which means you know what the brake pedal should feel like. Any change should be cause for concern, but it's especially troubling if the pedal feels soft or squishy. This often means that the master cylinder is leaking brake fluid. As such, continuing to drive when the brake pedal feels soft is very dangerous.

1. A Squealing or Grinding Noise When You Brake

If you hear a squealing noise when you step on the brake pedal, it's likely due to brake pads that are wearing down. They're designed with wear indicators that will squeal when the pads need to be replaced soon. If you ignore this squeal, you may soon hear a grinding sound instead. This indicates that the lining on the brake pads has worn down completely, causing metal to grind against metal. This can greatly damage the brake rotors and other components, so be sure to have your brake pads changed before this happens.

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  1. Hanson Kia

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: (877) 816-5820

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Hanson Kia

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Sales: (360) 339-5079
  • Service: (360) 339-5079
  • Parts: (360) 339-5079


  • Monday 7:30 AM-6:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:30 AM-6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:30 AM-6:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM-6:00 PM
  • Friday 7:30 AM-6:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed