A properly operating brake system is critical to safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of conditions. Now is the ideal time to stop and make sure your brakes are working properly.
"When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Motorists can put a stop to any potential brake system problems by recognizing the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair."
Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they're going to need to be replaced. If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your brakes. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.
Having regular maintenance performed on your vehicle’s brakes is one of the best ways to stay safe on the road.
For routine maintenance, check your vehicle's braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.
Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. Never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the "metal-to-metal" point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill.