Having a car that will not start is certainly an issue of concern. Inconvenience and frustration accompany a vehicle that will not get you from A to B because it doesn’t go vroom-vroom ! But let’s think about the other end of the spectrum, how about if your vehicle will not stop? That is an entirely different set problems. The braking system is without question one of the most vital parts of your vehicle. Good braking performance is essential in the safety of operating any vehicle. With that in mind, stopping is certainly more important than starting.

So, how do we know if our brakes are in need of service? There can be warning signs. Noise is the most recognizable warning. When brake pads or shoes wear thin they can often produce a squeak as the heat generated from the braking process will produce hot spots and can create noise. Another warning sign is vibration. If you feel you’re a shaking in the steering wheel, seat, or brake pedal when applying the brakes it means the brake rotors and or drums are warped. This usually occurs because of the heat generated and will inhibit the smoothness of the braking process. Normally noticed when braking from higher speeds, this not only leads to an uncomfortable stop, but also can make the stopping distance longer.

Brake pad and shoe life varies vastly depending on several different factors. The type of vehicle, driving habits, and driving conditions, all are factors in just how long they will last. A brake inspection is the only real way to know how much of the braking material is remaining. Most brake pads these days do not have indicators that produce a cyclical warning squeak.

The hydraulic portion of the braking system is also one of the most critical components in safely stopping. Never ignore a softer brake pedal or fluid loss in the wheel area. Low brake fluid levels can result in a loss of braking ability and be create unsafe driving conditions.

Regular brake inspections are the easiest way to know what kind of shape your brakes are in. Of course things can happen at any time, so should questions arise, visit DR. Automotive for the answers.