The safety of you and those you love while on the road can depend on how well your brakes are working, so it is essential to make sure they are in good shape. Many drivers may not even realize that their brake pads have worn down until they are forced to stop immediately – and then it might be too late.
While it’s never the wrong time for a brake inspection, in certain circumstances, it should be a priority. Here are three of the best times to get your brakes checked.
When You Go on a Long Road Trip
New brakes can be an expensive repair. Pads with at least 50 percent of their thickness remaining are safe for everyday use but it doesn’t take long for them to wear down at that point. Long trips will put extra wear and tear on a vehicle’s brakes. Long trips can wear them down quickly and having to get any vehicle repairs while on vacation or aware from home is far from ideal. If you’re planning on driving more than a thousand miles or you suspect you’ll have to travel in harsh weather, take the precaution of replacing the pads before you go.
When Your Car’s Miles are Adding Up
All braking systems have parts that deteriorate over time. Rain, snow, ice, salt, and road chemicals can cause premature brake wear and erode the lines that carry brake fluid from the master cylinder to the calipers.
The longer a car has been on the road or sitting unused where rust can take hold, the more likely it is that these problems will occur. There are plenty of other reasons for unforeseen accidents on the highway. Consumers have enough to worry about without worrying about failing brakes. One way to avoid this is to have the brakes checked during regular maintenance times, so when new pads are needed, it can be planned in advance and is not a surprise.
Any Time the Brakes Make Noise
Abnormal noises are a clear sign that brakes need attention. This can happen when braking, backing up or with sudden starts and stops. Pads come with wear indicators. These strips of metal rub against the brake disc when most of the pad has worn away. The design intentionally creates a squealing sound that lets drivers know that replacements are needed. Because there is no standard distance between the indicator and the rotors among various models, only a visual inspection will determine how much of the pad remains.
Other screeching and grinding sounds are common in brakes, and while some are the result of relatively simple issues from low brake fluid to normal wear, they could be indicators of something more serious. Any significant noise should be investigated.
Regular brake maintenance is an essential part of car ownership, and it’s critical to keeping you, your family, and other drivers safe on the road. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Whether you’re heading out for an extended vacation or just going to the grocery store down the block, your safety is worth it.
If you have been involved in a recent auto accident, rest assured you are not alone. Bashore Green helps hundreds of clients every year with the legal representation they deserve to help get back on their feet. Call us today at (248) 487-1887.