Driving with brakes that aren't at their best can be downright scary. By keeping your brakes in good working order and having regular brake inspections, you can help make sure that when you hit the brakes, you don't hit anything else. Look for these three warning signs that your brakes are in need of some TLC.
1. You sense trouble
You already carry around the most important tools you need to identify brake problems: your eyes, nose, ears, and hands! Use your five senses to head off brake problems early on.
- Sight: Do you see any fluid stains on your driveway or in your garage? They could be caused by brake fluid leaking from the reservoir, a corroded brake pipe, or other areas.
- Smell: Do you smell a burning chemical odor, possibly something like burnt carpet? It might be coming from overheated brakes or an e-brake/parking brake that's been left on while driving. If you catch a whiff, pull over to a safe place, check that your parking brake is off, and let the brakes cool off before driving again.
- Hearing: Do you hear a distinctive screeching sound when you apply the brakes? This sound is one of the clearest indicators of a potential brake problem.
- Touch: Do you have to apply more pressure to the brake pedal than you used to? Or press the brake pedal to the floor in order to stop? If so, it may be a warning sign.
If any of these symptoms have you sensing trouble, it’s time for a brake inspection and service.
2. You miss an important date … or two
Refer to your owner’s manual for the ideal time to have your brakes checked. The vehicle manufacturer may recommend that you have your car or truck's brakes checked after a certain number of miles, a period of time (such as once per year), or when you have your tires rotated.
Between keeping track of sports practices, school events, and everything else life throws your way, we know such milestones can be easy to overlook. Free smartphone apps like the Tires Plus Mobile App (for Android and iOS) can help you keep track of your service history and any upcoming milestones.
Psst! Can’t locate your owner’s manual? Look for it here.
3. Your brakes don't make the cut when inspected by the pros
There are some circumstances where your brakes might not receive a passing grade when inspected by professionals. Here are two cases to be aware of:
- A manufacturer recall notice. More than 47 million vehicles have at least one open safety recall, reports CarFax. That means that 47 million vehicles (or a part of them) fail to meet federal safety standards. Enter your vehicle's VIN number at SaferCar.gov to see if there's an open recall on your vehicle or part of it, including your brakes.
- A thumb’s down from a qualified mechanic/technician. At Tires Plus, we will never recommend a service or repair if it's not needed. Your vehicle's safety is one of our top priorities, so if our technician fears that the condition of your brakes is putting you at risk, they'll let you know right away.
Put a stop to your brake worries today. Whether you're dealing with a screech, a smell, or brakes that simply aren't responding like they used to, stop by your nearest Tires Plus Total Car Care for a free brake inspection and repair today!