Understanding Your Brakes: How To Know When They Need Your Undivided Attention
Now is always the perfect time to make sure that one of your vehicle’s most important functions is working properly: your brakes.
Your vehicle’s brake system is made up of multiple parts, including brake pads, shoes, drums, and rotors. The materials of these parts can wear down over time in normal driving conditions.
Before you set out on that next road trip, see our tips for routine maintenance.
Do your brakes make a squealing noise?
That noise is often the result of wearing on your brake pads or shoes, signifying the end of their life.
Other reasons could include misaligned brake calipers (which slow the car’s wheels), loose calipers, pads that are not the correct size, glazed rotors, glazed pads, and warped rotors.
If you hear the squealing, we recommend scheduling an appointment to get your brakes checked.
Does your steering wheel vibrate or pulse when you brake?
This could indicate a problem with your car’s brake rotors, the discs that your brake pads clamp down on in order to stop your car. When you apply the brakes, the rotors are exposed to intense heat, causing them to wear down over time.
When this happens, the metal can become thinned out or warped and can cause a rumbling in the brake pedal that you feel in the steering wheel.
If you’ve got those (bad) vibrations, let us take a look at your brakes.
Has it been over a month since you last had your brake fluid checked?
Motorist Assurance Program guidelines recommend checking your brake fluid on a monthly basis, particularly to prevent copper buildup. Copper buildup occurs naturally in brake fluid, but too much can cause iron contamination and corrosion, which impedes your brake system's performance.
If you’re at the monthly mark, schedule an appointment for a free brake fluid check to help extend the life of your brake system’s components.
Has your dashboard warning light turned on?
One of the most noticeable (and never-to-be ignored) signs of worn brake parts is an illuminated brake warning light. There are a multitude of reasons why your warning light may come on. The most important point to note here, though, is that your brakes need your attention.
Whether you’re planning an epic road trip or not, it’s always a good time to check in on one of the most vital components of your car—the brakes.