How are your brakes? When were they last serviced or checked? Will they be able to deliver a full-power panic stop? If you haven’t asked yourself these questions lately, they might flash through your head the next time you have to stomp on the brake pedal in an emergency. That’s not the best time to be worried about the performance or maintenance of such a vital system.
Now is a good time to ensure the safe and reliable performance of your vehicle’s braking system, especially if you live in a part of the country where the days of nicer weather are waning. Set yourself up for worry-free driving by having your braking system inspected and maintained. It’s easy to forget your brakes until they aren’t working, and brake problems can creep up on you, too.
While modern braking systems and components are relatively low-maintenance, upkeep is still required. Normal use can wear brake pads down quietly, and drivers often adapt to the reduction in performance – longer stopping times, more pressure required on the brake pedal, etc. –– because it can happen gradually. If you do considerable stop-and-go driving, tow frequently or drive under other unusually adverse conditions, pads (or, on cars with rear drum brakes, brake shoes) can wear more rapidly. When brakes become dangerously worn, metal-on-metal contact can occur and, in many vehicles, wear sensors start to make that terrible squealing noise. That can be an expensive sound, too, since the grind of metal into brake rotors will do extra damage – damage that can require resurfacing of the rotors, at least, or even rotor replacement.
Brake fluid is the lifeblood of the system. It transmits the force from your foot on the pedal, through brake lines, to the braking hardware at each wheel. When was the last time you thought about it? If you’ve even considered it, you’re in the minority. Brake fluid absorbs water from the air over time, reducing its effectiveness, which is why you should be sure it is checked and changed at the intervals recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Even the freshest fluid and the newest brakes are useless if a brake line fails, however, so it’s equally important to have lines inspected regularly, as well.
With the important job your braking system has, and given the amazingly quiet way modern braking systems go about their business, it’s smart to make routine brake inspections and maintenance a priority. Stop by today and we’ll make sure your brakes are in top shape.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.