We tend to take our brakes for granted. The stop light changes, or the car in front of you slows down, you simply press the brake pedal, and your car slows down – time after time.
While most drivers associate the brakes with being responsible for stopping a vehicle, it’s a bit more complex than that. The friction of your tires against the road is what slows down and stops your vehicle. The brakes are what’s responsible for stopping the wheels from spinning and it’s the job of the brake pads and brake discs to create the resistance needed to cause this action.
Now that you’re familiar with what it takes to slow your vehicle down, we recommend not taking any chances with your brake care. In order to maintain your braking system, you should have your brake fluid, brake pads and brake discs inspected regularly.
A good rule-of-thumb is to have these parts inspected whenever you rotate your tires (usually every six months). If you tend to drive aggressively or in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, it’s a good idea to have your brakes checked more frequently, with every oil change, for example.
If, however, you notice any of the signs listed below, we recommend having your brakes inspected sooner. It’s important to keep in mind that your safety and that of your passengers depend on the condition of your brake system.
5 Signs You Need New Brakes In Fairfax, VA
1) Your Brake Light Comes On
Your brake warning light is on the dashboard of your vehicle and is usually red or yellow. If this light comes on, be sure to have your brakes inspected. ABS Unlimited offers a free, visual brake inspection.
2) You Hear Strange Noises
Have you started to hear grinding or squeaking noises when you apply the brake pedal? How about a metallic sounding squeal? When your brake pads start to wear out, you will often hear a high-pitched sound.
If this occurs, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. Replacing the pads is much less expensive than letting the problem get worse. If you end up with rotor troubles, the cost will be much higher.
3) Your Steering Wheel Vibrates
Does your steering wheel vibrate when you brake? Pull to one side? Feel like it’s wobbling? This usually means your brake rotor(s) is uneven.
4) Your Pedal Is Squishy
This usually means brake fluid is leaking from the brake system. Sometimes you’ll notice a different feel when you brake. The pedal will be spongy and you’ll need to push harder to get the car to stop.
Don’t delay service if you are experiencing this issue. Whether it’s a matter of trouble in the master cylinder or moisture in the system, this situation puts you at risk.
5) You Smell a Burning Odor
You can’t miss a burning smell with a chemical odor when you brake. It usually happens when the system is overheated after breaking again and again. If this occurs, pull over somewhere safely and let your brakes cool down.
It’s safe to say that any of the symptoms above indicate a need for a brake inspection. ABS Unlimited recommends paying attention to your vehicle and how the brakes are functioning on a regular basis. By taking note of how they typically feel or operate, you’ll be able to easily notice changes in their performance – making it easier to determine when to service your brakes.
Generally, the lifespan of brakes is about 50,000 miles, however, some brake parts require replacement in as few as 25,000 miles and others can last up to 70,000 miles. Driving habits, driving conditions, vehicle type, and other factors can affect the life expectancy of your vehicle’s brakes.
If you have any questions or concerns, we welcome you to contact us at (703) 352-7770.