Brakes are an all-important safety feature of your vehicle, and it is important to maintain them properly. An appropriate maintenance schedule depends on usage. Obviously a New York City taxi driver puts more pressure on his brakes than the typical soccer mom or suburban commuter.
A good rule of thumb for regular vehicle use is to get your brakes checked at least once a year. This is the standard recommended by insurance companies. An easy way to remember your brakes is to think of them when you have your tires rotated. Some cars require the wheels to be removed in order to check the brake pads, so it makes sense to do both at the same time.
Other than routine checks, your brake pads might offer some warning signs if they are wearing down. The most well known symptom of worn brake pads is that metallic screeching that is so disturbing it is hard to ignore. A more subtle symptom of worn brake pads is a shaking or pulling to one side when you brake. Another sign of a brake problem is when the brake pedal feels wrong in either direction – either too tight or it goes all the way to the floor.
Some do-it-yourselfers can check their own brakes. It is a relatively simple matter to check the brake fluid under the hood, and the owner’s manual can give you the information you need about replacing the fluid. If you are able to check your own brake pads, measure the width. If you see less than 1/8 of an inch of padding, then it is time to replace the pads. The rotor disc should still be shiny. It is okay if you can see lines on the rotor, but if you see grooves and rough spots, then it is time to replace the rotor.
At this level, most vehicle owners need the help of a trained mechanic. Your Melbourne, Florida auto repair facility is well equipped to provide routine maintenance on your car. The team at Cassels has been serving Brevard County since 1966.