You Can Examine Your Brakes
By Matthew Keegan
Regular brake inspections are an essential part of good automotive maintenance that can save you money and keep your car from wrapping itself around the first tree out of your driveway. Make sure that your brakes and rotors are receiving the proper maintenance by following the steps outlined. Your safety as well as that of your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers is at stake.
1. Time for a free inspection. Many local brake shops as well as national brake repair chains offer customers free brake inspections at no obligation to you. The inspection typically includes the following steps:
Check your vehicle’s brake pads and shoes for signs of wear;
Fill and/or replace hydraulic fluids;
Examine rotor/drum wear and calipers;
Examine the anti-lock brake system [if you have one]
An annual check up of your brakes is wise, but do it more often if you drive well above the national average [about 15,000 miles per year] or if you do heavy stop and go driving.
2. Awareness is the key. Most brake system problems can be avoided if motorists would pay attention to certain signs of pending problems including:
Your brake warning light comes on.
Your brake pedal is either squishy, difficult to push down, or you must pump the brakes to get them to work correctly.
Your brakes grind continuously and you hear a loud metallic racket when you push down on them.
Your car pulls to one side when you push down on the brakes, instead of stopping in a straight line.
Your car jerks to a halt when you push down on the brakes.
One or more wheels are strikingly hot even after a brief trip.
You observe fluid leaks in the vicinity of any wheel or in the engine section near the master cylinder.
If you are an at home mechanic, you can complete your own inspections and fit your vehicle with top notch replacement parts including brake pads and calipers. You can save on parts by purchasing them from a reputable online wholesaler such as Pit Stop Auto Parts who can offer to you top quality parts at sensible prices, typically much lower than what your dealer or an auto parts store would charge you.
Take care of your vehicle and it will take car of you especially in an emergency situation where a properly working brake system is an absolute must.
Matt Keegan is an auto enthusiast and contributing writer for
PitStop Auto Parts, a seller of discount auto accessories including
Akebono Brakes and
EBC Brakes for your car.
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