You rely heavily on your car's brakes every time you drive, so maintaining your brakes should be a top priority. When was the last time you had your brakes serviced? If it's been more than a year or two, then you might be driving on worn brake pads or even with bad rotors. By knowing what to look for when it comes to common brake issues and their necessary repairs, you can enjoy a little extra peace of mind each time you get behind the wheel.
Signs of Brake Trouble
Ideally, you should be having your car's brakes and all brake components inspected at least once a year as part of an annual tune-up. Many auto repair shops and mechanics offer brake inspection as part of their multi-point inspection that comes complimentary with your typical oil change service.
In between inspections, though, you should also be on the lookout for common signs of brake trouble. Some examples of these "red flags" include:
- squeaking or squealing sounds when you depress the brake pedal
- shuddering or shaking of your car's front end while braking
- a longer than usual stopping distance
If you've noticed any of these issues with your car, it's time to have it checked out by a trusted mechanic sooner rather than later.
Brake Pad Replacement or Something More?
When you catch brake problems early on, the repair is usually pretty simple. In many cases, a new set of brake pads is all that is needed to take care of the common issues listed above. After all, brake pads are not designed to last forever, and most will need to be replaced after about 25,000 to 60,000 miles.
Unfortunately, when you continue to drive on worn brake pads, this can lead to further (and more expensive) damage that may include warped rotors or even bad brake calipers. Ultimately, only an experienced auto repair technician will be able to tell you what kind of repairs or replacement you need on your brakes. To make sure you're getting a fair assessment and estimate, it's never a bad idea to get a couple of different opinions from local repair shops.
Taking care of your car's braking system is vital to your safety and the safety of other drivers behind the wheel. By having your vehicle's brakes inspected regularly and taking your car to a trusted mechanic at the first sign of brake problems, you can save yourself some stress.
To learn more, contact a local auto repair shop.