Do I Need My Brakes Checked?
There are many safety systems in vehicles these days, but the most crucial one dates back to the origin of cars: the brakes. No matter how many complex driver-assist systems are invented and deployed in today’s vehicles, nothing can or ever will replace the fundamental component that is a car’s brakes. Considering the importance of brakes, it can’t be overstated just how crucial it is to make sure your car’s brakes are always in good working order; neglecting their maintenance can put your life at risk.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Do I need my brakes checked?” then the answer is probably yes. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to a vehicle’s braking system.
Indicators That You Need Your Brakes Checked
The following are some ways to tell if your brakes need the attention of a professional mechanic:
- Check the Pads: Checking the thickness of your brake pads is a fairly easy process. Simply look between the spokes of a wheel and locate the shining metal of the rotor, then look around the rotor’s outer edge until you see the metal caliper. The pad is located between the caliper and the rotor. Typically, you brake pads should be a quarter-of-an inch in thickness. If they appear to be thinner than that, then you should probably have them changed. Note that the design of some vehicles necessitates the removal of the tires in order see the rotor and brake pads.
- Warning Sounds: A small sensor in your vehicle’s braking system is designed to issue a high-pitched squeal when the brake pads need to be replaced. The sound of grinding whenever you brake means you’ve worn completely through the brake pads and the calipers are now grinding against the rotors. If you hear either of these—squealing or grinding—you need to have your brakes looked at right away.
- Vibrating: In a vehicle with antilock brakes, you’ll experience brake pedal “pulsing” during an emergency stop as the braking system applies quick grabs to the rotor to slow down the car. If your brake pedal pulses like this in normal braking situations, however, that can indicate a problem. A vibrating brake pedal usually means you have warped rotors.
- Temperamental Braking: If you have to push your brake pedal clear to the floor before the brakes will engage, or if the opposite is happening and your brakes are overly sensitive and are grabbing at the merest touch, either one is an indication of problems, and you should take your car to a professional to be checked out.
See the Professionals You Trust!
For all of your vehicle needs, including brake inspection and repair, see the team at Bill Kay Ford. We’ll get you fixed up and back on the road in no time! Come in and see us or contact us today.