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Breaking the Brakes: Everything You Need to Know to Avoid Costly Brake Repair

If the engine is the heart, and the transmission the muscle, then the brakes are the brain: often the last line of defense in avoiding dangerous collisions. They are necessary for every type of driver. But the good news is that brakes are, for the most part, long lasting and durable. In addition, if cared for and inspected properly, brake repair may be avoided entirely outside of normal wear and tear.

Regular inspections and maintenance are common concerns for most motorists, so they won't have to face any inconveniences when it comes to traveling around town. It may be more obvious to get your oil changed at the correct mile intervals, and to have a tune-up after taking a road trip. But are you aware of how crucial it is to take your vehicle into a brake repair facility to have your brakes inspected and serviced? If you are not sure of when or how often you should take your vehicle into a brake repair shop, here are a few common signs you should monitor to prevent any accidents resulting from brake failure. Although brakes are durable, ignoring the symptoms of deterioration can result in costly brake repair – or even worse – brake failure resulting in potentially harmful accidents.

Brake Pad Appearance

The first and simplest sign to watch out for in order to determine if your vehicle is in need of brake repair is to check the appearance of your brake pads. They are easily visible by looking between the rims and the tires. If you look between the spoke, you will be able to see the brake pads. If your brake pads appear to be at least ¼ inch in thickness, then your pads are fine. If the pads seem to be thinner than this, you will want to take your car in to have your brakes serviced. Brake repair in the form of brake pad replacement is an affordable and necessary maintenance cost. If you wait, your old brake pads could wear all the way down, resulting in the grinding of your brake pads against your rims and often causing costly brake rotary and brake line replacement.

Grinding Noise

Often the first noticeable sign of brake deterioration is an audible grinding when applying pressure to the brakes during operation of your vehicle. You may also hear a screeching or high pitched noise when you start to press on the brake pedal, both when you are decelerating or coming to a complete stop. These are signs that your brakes pads are wearing very thin, and you need to have them replaced in order to prevent total brake failure. This noise is often an indication that you do not have much time left before your brakes are completely worn through.

Uneven Brake Pressure

Another very common sign that there is a problem with the brakes involves uneven brake pressure, causing a shaky and uneasy feeling in your vehicle. When you are driving and you start to apply pressure to the brake pedal, if you start to feel your car pulling to one side instead of going straight, this is likely an indication of an issue with your brake lines. In this type of situation, you want to get the lines checked and repaired right away. If the one of the lines were to break or fail, you would lose the ability to drive your car safely, since the brake fluid that helps the brakes function has been lost. This symptom indicates an extremely urgent problem to be resolved immediately, because brake line failure may cause the entirety of your brake system to go out, resulting in costly brake repair and even seriously dangerous driving conditions.

Vibration in Steering Wheel & Brake Pedal

If you notice a vibration in the steering wheel, and feel the vibration in the brake pedal while you are driving, this could be a sign of imminent brake failure. The sign could indicate an incorrect wheel alignment. However, if you know that your wheels are properly aligned, then these signs most likely indicate that your car is in need of a timely brake repair. The vibrations and shimming indicates that your rotors are warped and badly misshapen. This rationale warrants immediate brake repair, or else harmful brake failure and injuries may result.

Driving around in any vehicle for an extended amount of time while there are indicators that there is a problem or two with your brake system can put you and your passengers in danger. To prevent major damage to car down the road and to keep everyone safe, get your brakes repaired on a regular basis.


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