Braking performance is one of the most important aspects of vehicle operation. If your brakes don't work properly, you're putting both yourself and others at risk.

While there are many reasons why your brakes may not perform as well as they used to, these three common issues should be at the top of your troubleshooting list.

Worn Out Pads or Shoes

One of the most common causes of decreased braking performance is worn-out brake pads or shoes. Brake pads are designed with metal backing plates and friction material on the surface that contacts the brake rotor when pressing down on the pedal. When these pads have worn out, their ability to create friction between the rotor and pad decreases, thus reducing their effectiveness in stopping.

Similarly, brake shoes perform a similar function but on drum brakes located on the rear wheels. They look like circular pieces of metal that have friction material pads on the outside. When these components become worn out, they can also cause your brakes to be less effective. They need to be replaced to restore your car's normal braking power.

Low Fluid Level

Another key component of having effective brakes is ensuring an adequate amount of brake fluid in your car's system. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid pushed through the brake lines when you press down on the pedal. If there is insufficient fluid, it will be difficult for the brakes to generate enough pressure when you press the pedal.

Decreased brake fluid levels are often caused by a leak in the brake line, so check for any visible signs of damage or leakage. If you need to top off the brake fluid, make sure to use the same type of fluid that is recommended for your car.

If you find yourself having to do this more frequently than usual, then it could indicate a bigger issue with either a leak or faulty master cylinder, which would require professional attention from a mechanic.

Contaminated Brake Fluid

Finally, contaminated brake fluid can also affect how well your brakes work. Over time, brake fluid can become contaminated with air bubbles or moisture, which reduces its viscosity and ability to transmit hydraulic pressure from one part of the system to another.

The air pockets created by this contamination make it more difficult for the brake pedal to build up enough pressure and slow down the car as effectively. If this happens, then flushing old fluid and replacing it with new clean fluid can help restore your car's braking power back to normal levels again. 

For more information, contact a company like Coronado Shell.