Brake inspection

Car Care Council is celebrating Brake Safety Awareness Month in August, an event dedicated to teaching drivers how to recognize signs their car's braking system needs to be serviced by a professional. Making sure you brakes are in working order makes driving safer for you, your passengers and others on the road. The Car Care Council listed seven indicator signs that your brakes may need to be replaced on their website.

Indicators of brake wear
One sign is screeching, grinding or clicking noises when you apply pressure to the brakes. If the vehicle pulls to one side when you brake the vehicle, that may also be a sign that the system needs to be inspected. The third sign listed is a low pedal, one that only responds once it is nearly on the floor. A hard pedal is the opposite, one that you need to press onto with a lot of pressure before it reacts. Both of these are indicators that the brakes needs to be fixed or changed.

If your brakes are responding too quickly to light pressure, that may also be an indicator. This means that the car would slow down at even the slightest touch when it didn't before. If the pedal is pulsing or vibrating while braking or otherwise, this is a sign of wear. Lastly, the most obvious sign - if the brake light is illuminated on your dash, you should take your vehicle in to be serviced.

Keep yourself and other drivers safe
"When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once a year," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road."

The brake system is the car's most critical safety system, according to the Car Care website. A properly functioning system will ensure vehicle safety control in a variety of circumstances, keeping the driver safe. Due to the heavy use while driving, eventually this system will need to be replaced. Ideally, you do not want your brake wear to get to the point where the brake pad entirely wears down - resulting in "metal-to-metal" braking - a problem that would likely require rotor or drum replacement.

Brakes naturally wear down depending on driving habits, operator condition, vehicle type and quality of brake lining material. In addition to these indicator tips, the Car Care Council offers a free personalized email reminder service that lets drivers know when to check and possibly replace their brakes based on the last time they had their car inspected. If drivers take the time to care for their vehicle more often, they will run into less major service problems down the line. More frequent inspections may help lessen the burden of vehicle costs, auto insurance prices and major problems in the future.

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