The brakes on your car are one of the most important features for keeping you and any passengers safe. While most people keep up with their oil changes, it is common for the brake system to be neglected until it shows signs of a serious problem. Proper care of your car’s brakes will not only keep you safe, but regular maintenance can also reduce the wear and tear that leads to more frequent replacements. Use these tips to keep your brake system maintained so that you can feel confident that your car will stop every time you press the pedal.
Check the Brake Fluid Level
You should check your brake fluid regularly to make sure that it is not low or absorbing water. Begin by looking at the reservoir to make sure that the fluid falls between the two lines that indicate whether it is too high or too low. If the brake fluid is low, then it needs to be filled to the appropriate level. However, you should be wary if it is extremely low because this could indicate a leak somewhere along the system. Cloudy or dark brake fluid also indicates a need to take your car to the auto service center for an inspection.
Keep Up With Fluid Changes
The brake fluid should be changed regularly to ensure that contaminants do not get into the system and that it has the proper viscosity to do its job. Follow the recommended time schedule for fluid changes that is provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer. In most cases, this will be based upon the mileage or a specific period of time.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Your brakes should be checked every time you have your tires rotated. During this inspection, the fluid, rotors and pads will be checked to see if they need to be replaced. In most cases, you will need to have this done every six months, but the system may need to be inspected more frequently if you drive long distances regularly or you drive a vehicle with a heavy load such as a large truck.
Watch for the Brake Warning Light
With every new car, you should familiarize yourself with the warning lights that are displayed on the dashboard if something goes wrong. Never ignore a brake warning light because this could indicate that you might not be able to stop your vehicle. If the warning light comes on, then contact a tow service that can safely transport your vehicle to the repair shop.
Know When a Replacement is Needed
At some point, every brake system needs to be replaced. For instance, the pads may begin to emit a noise when they are worn down too much to help the car stop. When a replacement is needed, take your car to a certified auto repair company that always uses quality parts so that your new brake system is more likely to go the distance.
Well-maintained brake systems are critical for keeping everyone safe in your vehicle, and you should be able to trust that your car will stop when its time. Make sure that brake maintenance and inspections are a part of your car care routine so that you hopefully never see that dreaded warning light.