When was the last time you had your brakes checked? People often think about measures they should take to keep their vehicles going, but don’t think about the system that enables their vehicle to stop safely. The fact is, brake failure can have disastrous and tragic results. Not only are you and your passengers in danger if your brakes fail, but other drivers and their passengers, as well as pedestrians, can also be at risk for injury or death.
Over time, the forces of heat and friction will take their toll on your vehicle’s brake components, causing the braking system to lose effectiveness. Therefore, it is important to have your brakes checked regularly to make sure it remains in proper working order. Many drivers choose to have their brakes inspected every 10,000 miles. However, the frequency with which you have your brakes checked might also depend on the age of your vehicle, your driving habits, and the terrain where you live.
For example, if you do a lot of city driving, which involves frequent stops and starts, your brakes will wear out sooner than if you drive mostly on the highway. Driving frequently in the mountains can also be tough on brakes. Driving habits can also influence how long brakes last. Drivers who tend to brake hard or “ride the brake” will have to replace their brakes more frequently than drivers who make a conscious effort to engage their brakes in a careful manner.
Your vehicle’s brake system is made up of many components, which means a wide variety of things could go wrong. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the warning signs that indicate brake problems. If you notice any of the following signs, you could be in danger of brake failure.
Listen to your brakes. When brakes emit a squealing sound, that means that the brake pads are wearing thin. Brake pad manufacturers actually put a small piece of metal called an “indicator” on the brake pad so that when it wears down to around a quarter-inch thick, the indicator will make contact with the rotors and emit a high-pitched squealing noise. If you hear a grinding sound when you use your brakes, they have worn past the pads and are grinding against the rotors.
Another warning sign is a shaking or vibration in the steering wheel when the brakes are applied, which could be caused by a misalignment between the rotor and the pad.
If your foot goes all the way to the floor when you press the brake pedal, have your brakes inspected immediately.
Finally, if you notice your car pulling to the left or right when use your brakes, you should have your brakes inspected as soon as possible.
Having your brakes inspected regularly and also dealing with any problems quickly will help you avoid brake failure. At European Auto Tech, we take the safety of our customers seriously. You can count on us to conduct a thorough brake inspection on your BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Porsche, or VW. We specialize in German vehicles, so we know how to keep them operating at their best. If you live in the Tucson, AZ, area and want the best service available for your German automobile, contact European Auto Tech today.