The items that normally require the least amount of maintenance on your vehicle are your brakes. They are also one of the most critical safety features. Faulty, worn or broken brakes are the cause of hundreds of accidents a year. With just some common sense and a regular checkup, you can avoid costly auto brake service and even save your life! Most maintenance starts with a little inspection.
The brakes are on the wheels, right??
So, you don’t understand how they work, but you sure feel good when they do! That ball that bounced across the street is no doubt going to be followed by someone chasing it. Often, that someone is a child. We put our faith in the fact that our vehicle will stop when we apply the brakes but how many of us really know the condition of our brakes? I would guess not many...unless there’s something terribly wrong already. The best maintenance is knowing what symptoms to look for and also what things to listen for. Most brake problems expose themselves through a noise from the wheels like a squealing or grinding noise. This normally indicates pad wear or a problem with the brake rotor. Sometimes a leaky brake line or a seal on the master cylinder may leave fluid on your garage floor or driveway. What happens if they fail? Or you can’t stop in time? Let’s not think about that!
I’m pretty handy; can I do the work myself?
Many consumers opt to do their own vehicle maintenance. There are hundreds of backyard mechanics who are very capable of replacing brake pads, checking fluid levels and making sure brake lines are functioning as they should. If you’re not one of those lucky people, you’ll have to trust someone else to help. Us regular folks can check fluid when it goes low and pay attention to anything out of the ordinary, but it’s recommended that you take your vehicle to a mechanic or regular brake shop at least once a year to make sure things are ok! Be careful out there!