Make sure you’re up to date on the signs of brake failure that require towing. Read our article and find out if your brakes are at risk of failing.

If you’ve ever had to deal with a brake failure, you know just how frustrating and dangerous it can be. Not only do you have to deal with the repairs, but you also have to worry about getting your car towed.

Fortunately, some warning signs can help you prevent brake failure before it happens. In this blog post, we’ll go over 10 of those signs so that you can be prepared the next time your brakes start acting up.

Brakes are grinding or squealing.

If your brakes are grinding or squealing, it’s a sign that they need to be serviced. If you ignore these signs and continue to drive, you risk damaging your brakes beyond repair. You’ll need to have your car towed to a mechanic when this happens.

It’s essential to listen to your car and take it in for service when needed. Doing so can prevent more severe issues and keep yourself and others safe on the streets.

The car pulls to one side when braking.

If your car pulls to one side when you brake, it’s a sign of an issue with your brakes. It could be something as simple as a sticking caliper or something more serious like a broken rotor.

Either way, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed before you can safely drive your car. If you’re not sure what the problem is, tow your vehicle to a mechanic and have them take a look.

Signs of Brake Failure
Signs of Brake Failure

Spongy or soft brake pedal

If you notice that your brake pedal is spongy or soft, this may indicate a problem with the vacuum booster or vacuum hose.

If there is a leak, you will see a drop in your power brakes. This can lead to poor and dangerous braking performance.

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Leaking brake fluid

Leaking brake fluid is one of the most common signs of brake failure. If you notice a small puddle of brake fluid under your car, your brakes are likely leaking.

This can be caused by several things, including a faulty seal or gasket, a cracked brake line, or even a loose connection.

If you suspect your brakes are leaking, having them checked out as soon as possible is essential. A leaky brake system can cause your brakes to fail, leading to an accident.

Burning smell coming from brakes.

If you notice a burning smell coming from your brakes, you must have them checked out as soon as possible. This usually indicates a brake pad that is starting to wear down and needs to be replaced.

If the problem is not addressed, it could eventually lead to metal-on-metal contact, damaging your brakes and potentially causing them to fail.

Signs of Brake Failure
Signs of Brake Failure

Vibrating steering wheel or brake pedal

If you’re driving and notice that your steering wheel or brake pedal is vibrating, it’s essential to take action immediately. This is a sign of brake failure and could mean your brakes are about to die.

If you’re in traffic, pull over to the side of the road and call for a tow truck. Don’t try to drive any further, as this could be dangerous.

Brake Warning Light

If the brake warning light comes on, there is a problem with the brakes. This could be anything from a low fluid level to a severe problem with the braking system. If the light comes on, it’s essential to have the vehicle towed to a mechanic so that they can diagnose and fix the problem.

Vehicle pulling to one side

If your vehicle pulls to one side, it’s a sign that your brakes must be checked. This can be caused by several factors, including an uneven brake pad or caliper or a problem with your suspension.

If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side, take it to a mechanic right away to have the problem diagnosed and repaired.

Spongy or soft brake pedal

If your brake pedal feels spongy or soft when you press it, it is a sign that your brakes may fail.

This can be caused by various factors, including air in the brake line, a leak in the brake line, or a problem with the master cylinder. 

If you notice this problem, you should have your brakes checked as soon as possible by a qualified mechanic.

Signs of Brake Failure
Signs of Brake Failure

The dashboard brake light illuminated

If your brake light is illuminated on your dashboard, this is an early sign of brake failure. If you notice this, you should take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to have the brakes checked.

Brakes are one of a car’s most critical safety features, so it’s essential to ensure they are in good working order.

How often should I check my brakes?

Brake pads should be checked every 20,000 miles.

How will I know if my brakes have failed and I need to tow my vehicle?

If the brakes have failed, you will probably feel it right away. The pedal will go all the way to the floor, and there will be no resistance.

You may also hear a loud noise coming from the wheels as they continue to spin. If this happens, you should pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible and call for a tow truck.

Signs of Brake Failure
Signs of Brake Failure


If you notice any of the above signs of brake failure, you must get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. Brakes are crucial to your passengers’ safety, so don’t take any chances.