Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Many people think the most important thing a car does is go. But just as important is your brake being able to stop! If you’re looking to take care of your brakes better than ever in the new year, you’ve come to the right place!
Taking care of your brakes is as simple as keeping up with their regular maintenance schedule, replacing worn-out parts promptly, and going gentle on them when you can. Pay close attention to any strange feelings underfoot, and keep an ear out for atypical noises.
Brake maintenance can often be overlooked since it's not as exciting or glamorous as other purchases–but keeping up with regular brake inspections and repairs is crucial for safe and reliable driving! Below, we list some of our top tips for taking care of your brakes, easy enough to implement at the same time as all of your other New Year, New You habits!
How Can I Take Care Of My Brakes in The New Year?
Brake maintenance, just like all things car maintenance, can really be broken down into three steps:
- Stay vigilant. Noises, strange feelings, weird smells, smoke….these are all signs that something needs fixing below the hood or underfoot. This is especially important when you think about your brakes–any slight change in their feelings might mean it’s time for repair or maintenance.
- Fix things when you need to. No matter how superb your vehicle is, all parts get worn eventually. Check your manufacturer booklet to see how often your brakes, rotors, pads, and the like need.
- Stay updated on your fluid services. You get gas in your car pretty often, right? Well, that’s not the only fluid under the hood! Don’t forget to get your brake fluid checked at regular intervals.
For customers who like a little more concrete advice, I suggest adding reminders on your phone or calendar to come in for maintenance.
Signs Your Brakes Need Help
So, how do you know what’s normal and what isn’t?
You drive your vehicle every day. You’ll likely feel the difference under your foot when your brakes need help–they may take more pressure to stop or not stop like they used to.
Additionally, if your car makes noise when braking, this is a sign that something is wrong. You may hear grinding or squealing sounds coming from the brakes as they work to slow your car down.
Another big sign of trouble is if your vehicle pulls to one side when braking; it could indicate that you need new tires or brake pads.
Vibrations felt through your vehicle's steering wheel, or floorboard can also indicate worn-out brakes. Similarly, if there's too much shake in the steering wheel when applying pressure to the brakes, it's time for some maintenance!
And like we mentioned above, brakes aren’t immortal: they all need replacement and work at one point or another!
Being Gentle On Your Brakes Makes A Difference
You have total control over how gentle you are on your brakes. This means staying alert and vigilant while driving: slam on your brakes if you need to. But one way to avoid slamming on your brakes is to always follow other cars at a safe distance, drive slower in areas where you know wildlife likes to cross, and try to use your best judgment regarding red lights.
Don’t Forget These Maintenance Items
So, what’s on the menu for break maintenance when you go into your favorite mechanic (who, hopefully, is us here at Import Auto Specialists if you’re in the San Diego area!)? You’ll be looking at the following:
- Brake inspection
- Brake fluid flush
- Inspection of brake pads, rotors, and other brake components
- Tire check (because your braking affects your tires!)
Most car manufacturers suggest a check-up or inspection every six months or every 20,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Come See Us At Import Auto Specialists If You’re Having Problems!
We can help you out at Import Auto Specialists in San Diego. We want to keep your vehicle safe, reliable, and ready to roll. Our auto mechanics are friendly, knowledgeable, ethical, ASE-certified technicians ready to help you get your car in shape when you are prepared to invest in your vehicle's long-term health. We are located at 7171 Ronson Rd Ste B, San Diego, CA 92111, and we're open Mondays through Fridays, from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Please schedule an appointment today.