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You need your vehicle to get you to work, school, the store, and so on, and you need it to be safe. Brakes are the obvious key to safety in any car, truck, or SUV. And in our Iowa weather, they are a major factor in successfully driving in snow, rain, sleet, and sun. Brakes need to be in top condition, no matter what the weather brings our way.

You may not think about your brakes until you hear or feel something, and that is fine. Brakes don’t have a standard amount of time or use before they need to be replaced (For their life is based on the quality of the material and your driving habits). If you drive in city conditions only or if you wait longer to slow down and then have to step on the brakes harder, your brakes may wear out sooner due to the more frequent starting and stopping. If you mostly put highway miles on your pickup, the brakes may be good longer.

Because of this, it’s important for you to tune into your vehicle so you can identify when your brakes might be in need of repair. The following signs will help you understand your brakes and when you will need brake maintenance. 

brake maintenance

How Brakes Work

The brake system on vehicles today consists of a hydraulic system that connects the brake pedal to a piston in the master cylinder. That forces brake fluid to slave cylinders at each wheel, which forces pistons out that actuate the braking mechanism. The brake pads are made of ceramic and/or metal that wear over time. Brake rotors also wear, although they may last longer than brake pads. Brake fluid and the hydraulic system must also be maintained (meaning a fluid exchange must be made at certain mileage intervals and fluid stabilizers added) and kept free of debris and other contaminants. Rusting brake lines can be a real problem, causing the brake pedal to drop to the floor due to loss of brake fluid pressure.

 

Brake Noises

One of the first indications that your vehicle needs brake maintenance is often what you hear when driving or braking. Turn off your radio and your AC or heat once in a while so you can keep tabs on how your brakes sound.

While some brake noise may occur when you brake due to moisture or rust on the rotors, anything resembling grinding or squeaking is not normal on quality brake pads and rotors, however, maybe on inferior pads and rotors installed. Some brake pads have a wear strip, an indicator that causes a high-pitched noise when you are driving as well as braking. When you hear that noise consistently, it is time to get your brakes replaced. Grinding noises can be an indication of a more serious issue with your brakes or rotors. Take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately if you hear loud grinding noises when you brake!

 

Stopping Your Car Takes Longer

How long does it take to come to a stop when you hit the brakes? If it takes more time than it used to, or if the brake pedal feels soft and sinks to the floor, your brake maintenance is most likely overdue and/or you are in need of new brakes, or there is a problem with your brake system, and you should schedule an appointment with your mechanic immediately. You don’t want your brakes to fail when in traffic. The longer it takes to stop after you press on your brake pedal, the more likely it is to bump the car in front of you. It’s only a matter of time before that happens, so let our professional mechanics help you avoid a very expensive and inconvenient problem!

 

Vibrating Brake Pedal

If you press on the brake pedal and feel a vibration, give your auto maintenance shop a call. The vibration you feel, most likely, is coming from the brakes. It means that your brake pads are worn out and/or your rotors are warped and need to be replaced. Your brake pads rely on a certain amount of liability, but they can harden under hard use, which is called brake glazing. This can happen if you ride the brake or brake too often and too hard. This overheats the brake pads, causing them to harden. Another possible cause of vibration when you brake is warped rotors. Again, hard braking and the heat it produces can cause rotors to wear unevenly, making them warp. So, if you feel a vibration when coming to a stop, stop by at All Tune & Lube Total Car Care for a brake inspection. We’ll take a look at the brake pads and rotors to discover the cause of the shaking.

brake maintenance

 

Car Pulls When Braking

If your car or truck pulls to one side when you brake, that can indicate uneven wear of the brake linings, a caliper is sticking, or foreign matter has gotten into your brake fluid. In any event, pulling to one side when you brake is not normal and should be checked out. A brake inspection should include looking at the brakes, calipers, and a brake fluid exchange.

 

Brake Repair Saves Money

When you keep your brakes in good working condition, you stay safe and save money, too. First, you avoid accidents, which are extremely expensive, pure inconvenience, and time-consuming waiting for your vehicle to be fixed. Second, you can avoid bigger problems with your brakes by having them inspected as soon as you detect a noise, vibration, pull, or other issues that might be brake-related.

All Tune & Lube Total Car Care helps you save on your brake repair by being proactive and inspecting your brakes when you bring your vehicle in for maintenance to catch deficiencies before they become costly repairs. They also provide financing options and affordable warranty options so you do not have to drain your bank account during your visit, you can spread the payment amount over time, and you can rest assured you won’t be stranded because you have purchased great quality products. Be sure to keep your brake pads, rotors, brake fluid, and all other parts of your brake system in good condition for your safety and peace of mind.