Fall is here and winter is not that far around the corner. Be sure you are heading into these cold, wetter months with your car’s brakes in good shape. But how can you know if you need to replace your brakes?
First of all, consider the type of driving you do which can greatly impact how often you need to replace your brakes. If you do a lot of urban driving day in and out braking in traffic, you will need to replace your brakes more often than someone who does more rural driving or long freeway driving. People who drive in hilly or mountainous regions need brakes replaced much more frequently than those living in flatter areas.
Since you are getting your tires rotated every six months, have your technician check your brakes and brake pads at that time. Your mechanic will check the thickness of the brake pads as well as looking for wear on the brake hardware.
Use your eyes and ears to look and listen to how your car is behaving and sounding. By looking between the spokes of your car’s wheels, you will be able to see the outside pad pressing against the metal rotor. If there is less than ¼ inch of pad, you likely need your brake pads replaced
- If your car has built in sensors, you may hear a screeching sound when applying the brakes. This is the built in indicator engineered to warn you that you need to replace your brakes.
- Grinding can be an indicator that pads are entirely gone. If your car takes longer distances to stop, that can be an indicator the brakes need replacing.
- If you have noticed a lack of responsiveness while applying the brakes, you may need to replace the brake fluid.
- Does your car pull to one side while braking? If so, that could indicate uneven wear on the brake lining or there may be particles in the brake fluid.
- A shimmy or vibration felt in the steering wheel while applying the brakes is your sign that you may even need new brake rotors.
- Do you hear a loud metallic sound while braking? This is likely a sign that your rotors are warped and need to be ground.
Don’t wait until you are experiencing multiple symptoms listed above to assess your brakes’ condition. Bring your ride into Scott Sherman Automotive soon and we can check over your brakes for you and help you to have peace of mind while on the fall and winter roads.