Poor brakes may make it difficult for you to stop the car. Brake related defects pose serious problems to your car. You should properly maintain your brakes. A complete and thorough annual inspection of your brakes is very important as well-maintained brakes will increase your safety when you are driving on highways.
The sound of metal scraping is a sure sign that you have a brake problem. Brakes have varying types of problems, almost always coming from the lack of lining to pads or problems with the calipers. Sometimes you can sense a problem because your car will pull to the left or right (not always a brake condition, sometimes front-end alignment or tire problem.) when you apply the brakes. Whenever you have an irregular feel while driving have your brakes inspected.
Your brakes can become weak due to overuse. The brake lining becomes hardened and they lose their power to grab or stop the rotation of the brake drum or rotor. If you experience a brake fluid leak, your brakes will soak up the fluid; you can also have a problem with oil or grease, which causes your brakes to become worn. If you have worn or glazed brake pads you will get grinding noises from the brakes. Sometimes it may happen that your emergency brakes are frozen due to rust. If such things occur the brakes will not release when they are supposed to. As a result, you will feel a drag during acceleration.
Have an annual brake inspection performed by your mechanic. He is going to check the brake pads from outside the front tire or through the openings of the wheel or rim. If the mechanic notes a pad depth less than ¼ inch, he will suggest that you change it immediately. You also need to change the brake pad if you hear a screeching sound on applying the brakes. If you see any fluid leakage or uneven pad wear know that you have to change the disk brake calipers.