3 Reasons Why it’s Important to Get Your Brakes Checked
Your safety on the road depends on your brakes, so why take chances? You don’t want to get into a jam. While it’s never a wrong time for a brake inspection, in certain circumstances, it should be a priority. Here are three of the best times to get your brakes checked.
When You Go on a Long Road Trip
New brakes aren’t cheap, and in most cases, pads with at least 50 percent of their thickness remaining are safe for everyday use. Long trips, however, will put extra wear and tear on your brakes, and if you’re going to be gone long enough, it’s possible that thinning pads could be dangerously worn by the time you get home. If you’re planning on driving more than a thousand miles or you suspect you’ll have to travel in harsh weather, take the precaution of replacing the pads before you go.
When Your Car is Old
All braking systems have parts that deteriorate over time. Rain, snow and road chemicals can cause premature brake wear and erode the lines that carry brake fluid from the master cylinder to the calipers.
The longer your car has been on the road or sitting unused where rust can take hold, the more likely it is that these problems will occur. There are plenty of other reasons for unforeseen accidents on the highway, and you have enough to worry about with other reasons for accidents on the road without worrying about your brakes failing on you. Have them serviced before you set out.
Any Time the Brakes Make Noise
Abnormal noises are a clear sign that brakes need attention. Pads come with wear indicators. These strips of metal rub against the brake disc when most of the pad has worn away. The design intentionally creates a squealing sound that lets drivers know it’s time for replacements. Because there is no standard distance between the indicator and the rotors among various models, only a visual inspection will determine how much of the pad remains.
Other screeching and grinding sounds are common in brakes, and while some are the result of relatively simple issues from low brake fluid to normal wear, they could be indicators of something more serious. Any significant noise should be investigated.
Regular brake maintenance is an essential part of car ownership, and it’s critical to keeping you, your family and other drivers safe on the road. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Whether you’re heading out for an extended vacation or just going to the grocery store down the block, your safety is worth it.