You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that your brakes are one of the most important systems in your vehicle. When you’re flying around in a steel box at 100km/hr, it’s nice to know that you’ll be able to stop. Relatively, brakes don’t require a great deal of maintenance. However, it’s important you perform the required maintenance in a timely fashion. Fortunately, brakes aren’t shy about letting you know when they need service. Here are four signs you should replace your brakes.
Do you hear a screeching sound when you brake? I mean, do you hear a screeching sound when you brake after you turn down the radio. It’s probably the brake pad wear indicator. The brake pad wear indicator creates an annoying screech noise on purpose so that you know when to replace your brake pads. If you suspect this is the problem, simply look at your brake pads (assuming you can see through the wheel spokes). Healthy brake pads are usually thicker than 3 to 5 mm.
However, if you only hear the screeching sound during the first few stops on a day when the road is wet or cold your brakes may be fine. Why? Well, your brake rotors are made of unfinished metal and can rust literally within hours. Brake rotors (or discs) are what your brake pads clamp against to stop your wheels. If the rotors have rust, it will be worn away during the course of the first few stops, and the screeching will stop.
If instead of a nice screech, you hear a grinding or growling sound, your brake pads may already be completely worn down. If you ignored the sound of screeching, your brake calipers may now be making direct contact with the rotors. That’s metal on metal. Now, with common sense, no one would allow their car’s brake pad to wear away completely. But a quick observation of modern politics reminds us common sense is a commodity in no great surplus. If your brake pads are worn away and you’ve continued to drive, you probably need to replace your brakes.
Obviously, some symptoms of brake wear are felt rather than heard. For example, the fact that it takes longer to stop over time is an indication that your brake pads are wearing down. More seriously, if you ever push the brake pedal all the way to the floor and the vehicle doesn’t stop, this probably suggests your brake fluid reservoir is low. Allowing your brake fluid to run dry is wildly dangerous. Brake fluid literally moves the different components in your brakes. Without it, you’re not stopping until air resistance, gravity, and static friction let you. If you notice you’re low on brake fluid, top up immediately!
How to Replace Your Brakes
Replacing brakes is a moderately difficult task for those with a little mechanical nous. You’ll need a jack, preferably hydraulic. Obviously, you’ll also need a need set of pads and/or rotors. But don’t worry. If replacing your brakes is beyond your qualifications as a mechanic, a professional shop can do the job quickly and easily. If you want efficient, expert service, bring your vehicle to Capital GMC Buick Cadillac. Relax in our modern customer lounge, or use our complimentary shuttle service, and your vehicle’s brakes will be restored to optimal function before you know it! Book your appointment by hitting the link below.