of your vehicle’s brakes is dependent upon the type of traffic you are driving
in. City stop and go traffic versus long-distance driving can have a significant
impact. The same number of miles of city
driving versus long-distance travel changes everything when it comes to the
endurance of your brake system mainly due to the various amount of stopping.
So, here are a few things to keep in mind during your vehicle’s life to
maintain your brakes. Friendship Complete Automotive Care is passionate about
protecting your vehicle’s safety, and your brake system is one of our
Listen to Your Brakes
pads have a couple of different ways they can communicate with you. Do you ever
hear your brakes squealing or even grinding? Here are some ways to tell whether
your brakes may need a simple change or an immediate rush to the repair shop.
the road, you approach a red light and begin pressing the brake as you slow
down and suddenly start hearing screeching during the stop. Your brakes are
letting you know they are ready for a visit to your auto shop. So, how do they
do that? Some brake pads are designed with a feature to alert you once it
reaches its minimum thickness during its wear from use. There are several ways
they are set up to alert the driver. One of the sensors used to inform you is a
small metal piece referred to as a shim that scrapes against the brake disc to
alert you. Fortunately, the noise is audible enough to be heard even with your
windows up. The other sensor, found typically in luxury vehicles, warns you that
the brake pad is wearing thin with a light on your dashboard.
If you begin
hearing grinding as you brake during your drive, it is a critical alert to get
your vehicle to the shop as soon as possible to repair the brakes. The grinding
or growling sound from your brakes is the sound of your brake pads scraping
into the rotors as they try to stop the vehicle. The damage to the system
requires a replacement of the rotor and the pads which results in a much more
Pay Attention to Other Symptoms of a Brake Problem
involved with your brakes may not be related to the brake pads themselves. If
your brake pedal suddenly sinks to the floor during your stop, there may be a
leak of fluid or air pockets in the brake fluid. A leak can also be visible
when your car is parked, so definitely check the cement under your vehicle
regularly to make sure there are no leaks from any of the vehicle fluids.
from your brake pedal during use can be another sign of damage or warping of
the previously discussed rotors or even an issue with the alignment of your
vehicle. Modern vehicles have anti-lock brakes that can also feel similar
during an emergency stop, so if you are experiencing the vibrations before the
anti-lock system is even engaged, it is worth a visit to your technician.
there can be another reaction during braking that can alert you to an issue
with your vehicle. If you feel pulled to one side as you are slowing or
stopping your car, there may be a balance issue with your calipers or brake
pads, or an issue with the brake fluid. Adjustments of the calipers or brakes may
be necessary to protect from damaging wear and tear. A brake flush may be
required to ensure the liquid is clean and without any air in the lines.
Check Your Brakes Regularly
Keep in mind
that protecting your brakes is essential care of your vehicle for safety.
Fluid, rotors, and brake pads all play a role in making sure you can stop
effectively to prevent accidents and injuries. One of the best ways to make
sure everything is fully functional is to have them checked with each scheduled
maintenance and tire rotation. Of course, you can check them yourself by
looking between the spokes of the tires at the pads (if you know what you are
looking at!). They should be at least a
quarter of an inch thick. If they are less than that, it is time to have your
brakes checked by a professional technician and likely replaced to protect your
rotors and your vehicle.
Contact us at Friendship Complete Automotive Care to schedule your regular maintenance to keep your vehicle fully functional and your brake system safe.