At the very least, you should get a brake inspection once a year for wear, tear or damage, or when you recognize any signs of brake problems when driving. Your brakes are eventually going to wear down due to everyday use, so don’t neglect having them checked periodically.
When it comes to our vehicles and safety, one of the most important aspects is our ability to slow down or stop when driving. August has been declared “Brake Safety Month” by the Car Care Council and this is a great time to get your brake system looked at before school starts and winter hits here in Michigan.
“A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of driving conditions,” 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.”
Here are seven things you can look for to determine if you need to have your brakes or brake system inspected. If any one of these are encountered, you should bring it in to have your vehicle looked at. Your inspection will help determine if you need a brake repair or service.
Screeching or Grinding Noise – If you are hearing a screeching or grinding noise while pressing the brake pedal, this is a tell-tale sign that you are having brake problems. The brake pads have a warning tab that starts rubbing against the rotor to notify that it is time for pad replacement. If you do not heed this warning, you may damage additional brake components.
Black Dust – Are you seeing black brake dust on your rims? If so, this signifies that the brakes are worn down and need replacing.
Grabbing – If, when you press the brake pedal, even so lightly, that it engages your brake system, then this could signify problems with the braking system or its particular parts.
Vibrations – If your brakes are stuttering, pulsing or vibrating in an un-usual way when depressing them it could possibly mean that your brakes are reaching the end of their life and could be pre-cursor to brake failure.
Brake Light Indicator Illuminated – Most vehicles today have an indicator for the brake system. The sole purpose is to let you know of a brake problem. Several reasons could be that you have the emergency brake on, your pads are worn down or the anti-lock brake system is not working.
Pulling to the Side – When you use the brakes and you feel the vehicle pull to one side or the other, this indicates that there is an issue with one of the brake componenets. This is similar to what happens if you drive a car that is out of alignment but the pulling only occurs when you are braking.
Low/Hard Pedal Pressure – When the pedal almost goes all the way to the floor when braking, this is what is called “low pedal pressure”. If you have to press harder and harder to brake, this is what’s called “hard pedal pressure”. In either case, you are having brake problems.
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.
If, after reading this article, you recognized one or more problems with your brakes, then schedule an appointment for a brake inspection. We will thoroughly check your braking system and find out where you need service or repair. Just click the button below to get your brake inspection today.
Ron became the company president of E & L Service, Inc. in 1991 at the request of his grand-parents. With an automotive and heavy equipment background, Ron's focus is to bring the highest quality repair & towing services to Lapeer residents.