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How do I know when my brakes need to be checked?

Most everyone knows how to perform routine checks of their car's basic functions like gas, oil, and water, but how do you know when to check your brakes? How do I know when my brakes need to be checked?

Depending on your driving habits and the conditions of the roads you travel frequently, a specific brake maintenance schedule is often difficult to pin down.

So, here are some obvious signs to begin looking for today to know whether or not it's time to have your brakes checked:

Squeal and chatter: A sound often described as "metal on metal" (or "scrunch") that doesn't go away, is a sure sign to check your brakes. What you're hearing is the steel frame of the disc brake rotor where pad material has worn out. A complete replacement or resurfacing is necessary to prevent further damage.

Pay attention to the pedal: If you're finding that your brake pedal seems softer or seems to go closer to the floor, it's likely time for a brake check. By the same token, if the pedal is higher and harder, accompanied by a hissing sound, these are signs of a possible vacuum leak or brake booster issue. Either way, professional assistance is needed.

Brake warning lights: If the ABS (or Anti-Lock Braking System) warning light shows up on your dashboard, you're most likely running low on brake fluid. Low fluid usually also means there is a leak somewhere in your braking system. These are issues to have immediately addressed by a professional.

Pulling: When you apply the brakes, and your car pulls to one side, it is an indication of maladjusted brakes, fluid leakage, or worn out brakes that need replacement.

Vibration: If your brake pedal, steering wheel, or whole car shakes when you hit the brakes, it is a sign of warped rotors that require immediate attention.

Having your brakes fail while you are driving is a dangerous and terrifying experience, especially when you are traveling on an interstate highway or other high-speed roadway. If your brakes happen to go out while you're driving, follow these rules for handling the situation.

Alaways have your brakes checked by a licensed and highly trained expert like Accurso Automobile Repair. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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