How Can I Tell When I Need New Brakes On My Car?

Your car brakes is one feature that should always be in great working order. Here are a few tips when it might be time to replace your car brakes.

Inspect your brakes and listen for odd noises
You can check your brakes two different ways that are easy to do. You can do a visual inspection of your brakes by checking your brake pads through the spaces between the wheels or turn your wheels to the far left and look behind the wheel then do the same and turn the wheel to the right. The rule of thumb is if you have more than ¼ of an inch of pad left then you are fine. Anything less than ¼ inch and they should be replaced.

When driving your car and applying the brakes if you have ever heard a screeching sound that is high pitched then it is time to have your brakes inspected and or replaced. The sound from your brakes is a metal shim in the brake pad that is called an indicator. It is giving you an audible warning that it is time to have your brake pads replaced.

Your brakes do not respond like they used to
Certified Car Care says that when you apply the brake pedal and it now is going all the way to the floor board this is a sign that there is a fluid leak or an air leak in the system. The best indicator of a fluid leak is to check around the wheels to see if you can spot brake fluid.

Your car pulls to the left or right
When you apply your brakes and the car want to pull to the left or right this is a sign that your brake pad linings are not wearing evenly. This could require a break adjustment or replacement of the brake pads.

Applying the brakes and there is a grinding noise
When putting on your brakes and you hear a grinding noise, it means you have worn down your brake pads to the metal and they are grinding on the drum or rotors. Your brakes are now beyond just replacing the pads and will need the rotors resurfaced. Sometimes the rotors can be past the point of just a resurface and will need to be replaced.

There is a vibration when I apply the brakes
When you put on your brakes and the car vibrates, this is an indication the rotors are warped. A warped rotor is caused by long periods of braking like when you are going down a steep grade or towing a trailer. This will heat up the rotors causing them to warp.

Most people will drive their car and overlook the fact that the brakes need to be checked and maintained. If you keep you brakes in good working order you will avoid expensive repairs down the road.