It’s pretty clear that one of the features of a car that must be maintained properly in order to drive the vehicle safely is the braking system. Without the ability to stop, a vehicle becomes dangerous very quickly. Fortunately, most parts of the braking system will warn you long before there is a problem. Here are a few tips to help you know when it’s time to bring your car in for some maintenance.
Warnings Signs That Brake Pads Are Worn
Depending on who you ask, most mechanics will tell you to change your brake pads while there is still a quarter to an eighth of an inch of pad left. This is important because brake pads are an inexpensive fix, but rotors are pricey. When brake pads wear too low, the rotors can become warped or pitted leading to a much large repair and bill.
Fortunately, most modern cars have rims that allow you to get a visual on the brake pad without even having to remove the tire. If your brakes are squealing, that’s usually an indication that you’ve hit the end of the pad. Most manufacturers include a little metal shim that creates a warning sound when the pad gets too low. Just remember that if you always crank up the radio when you get in the car, you can’t rely on ever hearing the squeal.
Other indicators that you need to get your brakes checked would be if the brakes become less responsive, you find you need to push them closer to the floor when braking, the car pulls to one side or the other when you hit the brakes, or if you get some vibration while braking (not due to ABS). Remember that your brake pads may come with a certain mileage to indicate how long they should last, so don’t ignore that figure whether it be 35,000 miles or 70,000.
Should You Change Your Brake Fluid?
Car manufacturers have differing opinions on this with many citing 24 to 48 months as the life of brake fluid, while other manufacturers say to check the fluid every 6 months and only change it if it is dirty. For example, Audi and Volkswagen both recommend a brake fluid flush every 24 months on most vehicles.
At MR Auto SD, we take the safety of our customers seriously, and that’s why we carefully service every part of the brake system from pads to rotors. Check out our promotions page for a discount on your next brake fluid exchange, and call 858-455-8222 to have your braking system checked by a professional.