How to Tell If Your Brakes Need Replacing

It’s important that the brakes of your car are always in tiptop condition. Brakes that are in excellent condition can help prevent accidents, save a life, and protect you against lawsuits and potential financial ruin. However, there are so many drivers who either don’t know how to check the brakes or simply just don’t care to check it once in a while.

Checking the brakes is easy, and knowing when it’s time for replacement is also just as easy. After all, there are a lot of telltale signs that you can watch out for. When you notice these things, it means that your brakes need replacing.

Use Your Ears

The most common sign that your brakes need replacing is if you start hearing a high-pitch screeching when you apply your foots to the brakes. This high-pitched sound is created by a thin layer of metal called brake shims, and it is located between the rotors and the brake pads. The brake shims act as a sort of indicator that something’s wrong, that there are small imperfections in the brakes that need to be corrected. When you hear this very audible sound when you apply the brakes, it means that it’s time to take your car to your trusted mechanic.

Use Your Eyes

Another way of checking the integrity of the brakes is by looking at the brake pads itself. You can do this by looking through the space created between the wheel spokes. Doing so gives you the view of the outside pad pressing against the rotor. Now, if you see that there’s at least a quarter inch of pad, then you’re brakes are okay. You don’t need to replace them yet. However, if you see that the pad is less than a quarter inch, then you should bring your car to your mechanic, have the brakes inspected, and have them replaced if needed.

Sense of Pulling

If your brakes are faulty, you will also notice a sense of pulling to one side when you apply the brakes. The car tends to roll towards one side while you’re braking. If this is regularly happening, then this means that the brake linings are becoming thinner or there is an uneven wearing of the linings. Also, it could mean that something is in the brake fluid, affecting the performance of the brakes.

If this is happening, then a trip to your car mechanic is a good idea. He could adjust the brakes of your vehicle, replace them if the linings are too worn out, or simply drain and replace the brake fluid.

Sense of Vibration

Worn out brakes also tend to vibrate or wobble. This simply means that something’s wrong with the rotors. However, this vibration could mean that your car needs wheel alignment. To be on the safe side though, drive your car to your mechanic and have it seen by a professional.

If your brakes need replacing, then do it immediately. Don’t wait for your defective brakes to render your car not fit for driving or for it to cause an accident. Be mindful of the telltale signs and protect yourself and your property from potential accidents.

Jennifer Dahlstrom writes for numerous auto repair shops, including a car service and tires Carpinteria auto repair shop. Through this article, she hopes to teach readers how to check their brakes and its importance.


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