Having properly functioning brakes on your car is a must. Without working brakes, the front of your car will soon be attached to the car ahead of you, to a fence, to a tree or, God forbid, on top of a pedestrian. Regular brake inspections are essential to good automotive care and can save you money. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure that your brakes and rotors are receiving the proper maintenance.
1. Get those free inspections. Most brake shops offer free brake inspections. Why? Because they want your business, that’s why. The inspection should include a check of brake pads and shoes, hydraulic fluids, rotor/drum wear and calipers and, if equipped, your anti-lock system. Have your brakes checked at least once a year, more so if you do plenty of stop and go driving or you use your brakes excessively.
2. Become self aware. Many problems related to brakes can be headed off if car owners would pay attention to certain telltale signs of trouble including:
- Your brake warning light comes on.
- Your car pulls to one side when you press down on the brakes, instead of stopping in a straight line.
- Your car jerks to a stop when you press down on the brakes.
- Your brake pedal is either mushy, difficult to press down, or you must pump the brakes to get them to work right.
- Your brakes grind uninterrupted and you hear a loud metallic noise when you press down on them.
- One or more wheels are excessively hot after short drives.
- You see fluid leaks around any wheel or in the engine compartment near the master cylinder.
If you are a weekend mechanic, you can perform your own inspections and install quality replacement parts such as Honda brakes or BMW brakes. Some parts such as Volvo brakes and rotors are more costly, but by carefully shopping around you can find top quality parts at a reasonable price.
So, take good care of your car and perform brake inspections on a regular basis. Your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers will be thankful that you did.
About the Author
Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Car Parts Stuff, an online supplier of high quality and well priced automobile parts.
Written by: Matthew C. Keegan