Signs Your Vehicle May Need New Brakes
As much as we all try to keep our cars properly maintained, there are some things that simply slip through the cracks. You probably check the more obvious stuff, such as your oil and tires, but what about the parts that aren't readily visible? Here are some tips for knowing when it's time for new brakes.
Worn Brake Pads
Like many parts of your car, you should check your brake pads on a regular basis to see if you need to change them. Brake pads are easily visible through the spokes of your wheel, so all you need to do is peek at them now and then. Your brake pads should always be at least 1/4" thick; if they aren't, they need to be replaced.
All brake pads have a wear indicator which is designed to let you know when it's time to replace your brakes. So how do you check this wear indicator? It's pretty simple, actually. The wear indicator is what causes the loud squealing noise in your brakes. If this noise is present, your brake pads need replacing.
Your brake pedal shouldn't require too much or too little pressure. If your brakes are grabbing too easily or feel a bit mushy, it may be time to replace them.
Generally when you brake, your car comes to a complete stop and nothing feels off. However, if you feel a bit of a pull to one side when braking, chances are you need new brakes or break repairs. This could be a result of a stuck caliper, uneven brake pads, or collapsed brake lines which don't allow your calipers to move evenly when braking.
If your car is pulling to one side, take it to your local mechanic. Pulling can also happen due to problems with your tires, alignment or suspension, so you should have a professional take a look.
Vibration is normal when braking abruptly at high speeds, but if it's happening all the time it could mean you need your brakes replaced. This is often caused by warped rotors.
Ask a Pro
While these are all signs that you need a new brake installation, it's important to have a mechanic double check your brakes. The pros at Hotz Automotive Service can inspect your O'Fallon, IL vehicle's brakes to make sure they're ready for everything to road has to throw at them. Give us a call at (618) 416-8457 to learn more.