Distracted driving accounts for most of the rear-end collisions we see in our day. The default conclusion now when you see a vehicle pile-up is that the guy in the back was texting or focused on something else instead of the road. However, sometimes faulty brakes are indeed the cause (although certainly not as often as Mr. Texter claims). Brakes are like dental care in that an ounce of prevention is worth well over a pound in cure. If you get your brake pads and fluid checked and replaced routinely, then you will seldom need to worry about more serious brake repairs. On the other hand, neglecting your squeaky brakes can often lead to more serious and expensive repairs, and even to an unsafe vehicle that is more likely to involve you in an accident.

Your vehicle’s need for routine brake maintenance will depend upon your driving habits. A taxi driver in a major city will need to have his brakes serviced every few months, but most drivers use their vehicles in less intense situations. If you have a relatively easy highway commute, then it is probably safe to look for the warning signs.

For many people, the first sign of a brake problem is audible. That high-pitched sound when you apply your brakes is a clear message that it is time to replace your brake pads. The sound is loud enough to be heard even with the windows up, but maybe not loud enough to be heard over the sound of your air conditioner or stereo. Sometimes drivers learn about the warning sounds of their brakes from people who are outside of the vehicle.

There are other possible warning signs of impending brake trouble. If you feel a vibration when you apply the brakes, or if the vehicle pulls to one side, it might be the brakes. Foreign matter in the brake fluid or uneven wear in the brake linings can cause the vehicle to pull to one side. Grinding or reduced responsiveness are also signs that it is time to make an appointment with your mechanic.

At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we are ready to help keep your cars in good working condition. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.