Brakes seem to be one of those car maintenance and repair items that many people are completely mystified by. Knowing the right time to replace your brakes can mean the difference between a simple replacement and a much larger fix for a problem that shouldn’t have occurred. If you are confused about when you should replace your brakes, here are some tips that should help make the issue a little bit clearer.
No Easy Answer
What makes the question of when to replace brakes so challenging, is that there is no cut and dry answer for every car. For instance, we know that it’s recommended that tires are rotated every 6 months. We also know that it’s a good recommendation to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles. But there isn’t a cut and dry answer to when you should have your brakes replaced. What makes this even more confusing is that not every car or every driver will use their brakes the same. For some drivers, brakes may last a long time, and other drivers, who do a lot of stop and go driving, may find that they are replacing their brakes every year or so. When you take your car in to have the tires rotated, this is a great time to have your brakes inspected.
Know the Signs
There are a few indicators that you can listen or watch for, to tell you when you need to replace your brakes. One of the first and simplest ways to know if your brakes need to be replaced is to listen for that annoying squeak or screeching sound, when you put your brakes on. Many cars have an indicator on the brakes that will make this annoying sound when it is time for your brakes to be replaced. If your car doesn’t squeak, you can always listen or feel for other signs. This may include a grinding sound, which tells you that your brake pad is completely gone, or other sounds that may indicate wear. You may also notice that your braking time is longer, or you have to push your foot down further to brake. Another sign that your brake system needs help is if the brake light on your dash comes on. This indicates that your brake lines may have a leak and need to be filled, or there is a problem with the master cylinder. These are big issues, so if this light pops on, don’t wait, and get your car checked right away.
What Gets Replaced?
Generally, if you don’t wait until your brakes are grinding, you should only need to have the brake pads replaced and perhaps the discs resurfaced. For most cars, this is a relatively simple repair, and shouldn’t cost you too much. However, if you wait too long to replace your brakes, you may need to replace both the disk rotor and the pads. This can be a costlier repair. It is also important to note that in recent years, many car manufacturers have started using lighter and thinner discs. This may mean that you only get a couple of resurfacings before the discs have to be replaced.
Your brakes are a really important part of your car’s safety equipment. When it’s time to replace them, you shouldn’t wait. Car Guys Auto Center in Fraser knows how important your car is to your life and can make brake repairs quickly, so you are back on the road in no time. To schedule brake repair service call us today at (586) 285-4444.