How Often Should My Brakes Be Checked? | Triadelphia WV | Near Wheeling & Pittsburgh

Is It Time to Check Your Brakes?

When listing important parts of a vehicle, oftentimes brakes are not on the top of the list. And yet, most people only think about their brakes when they’re having problems with them. So that begs the question, how often should you actually check your brakes? While there is no clear-cut answer, we outlined some good things to know about your brakes.

A Primer on Brakes.

Most brakes put in vehicles today are disc brakes. When you press your brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). The pads create friction with the rotor to slow your vehicle. It’s a hydraulic system that depends on a steady flow of brake fluid.

If any one of these components isn't working properly, the entire system can fail. The usual culprits of poor braking performance, however, are your brake pads. They should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. The pads wear down over time and, if not changed, can lead to more expensive problems, like a damaged rotor.

Location Matters.

Crowded areas are worse than others when it comes to traffic. Congested roads require a lot of stopping, starting, slowing and veering. That means your brakes have their work cut out for them. It also means your brakes will likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used mainly in, say, a flat rural area.

With that in mind, it’s always a smart idea to have your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated -- usually every six months. If you’re an especially aggressive driver, you might want to have them checked more regularly than that, such as with every oil change. It’s also important that you pay attention to what your brakes might be trying to tell you between your regular servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If your brake light comes on, then it’s time to have your brakes looked at. Additionally, if you notice it’s taking longer to come to a complete a stop, you should have your brakes checked as soon as possible. You may also notice a vibrating sensation when applying your brakes. That generally indicates a brake pad issue, though it could also point to an alignment problem.

Many brakes are equipped with a built-in indicator that’s designed to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing thin. While the sound may be annoying, it can save you a lot of money down the road. That’s because if you change your pads when you’re supposed to, you won’t have to hear that metal-on-metal sound. When you do hear that sound, it's because your pads have worn down completely and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors whenever you press your brake pedal. It can turn an inexpensive fix into an expensive one.

Be Smart. Be Vigilant. Be Safe.

At Straub Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we're committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles—we want to provide them with impeccable service as well. That commitment goes beyond our showroom to include our service bays. Ultimately, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones arrive safely to wherever you drive to. That means your brakes need to be in good shape. You can count on your friends at Arrowhead Honda to take care of that for you.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by our dealership at 1502 Wheeling Ave, Glen Dale, WV 26038. We look forward to serving our customers from Wheeling and Pittsburgh.

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