Is It Time to Check Your Brakes?

Everyone takes their brakes for granted until they don’t work properly. So it’s important to make sure that you catch a problem before it gets worse with your brakes. But, do you know how often they need to be checked? That’s why, here at Sand Mountain Toyota, we want you to stay up to date on ways you can stay safe on the road. Keep reading to find out how often you should have your brakes checked.

A Primer on Brakes.

Disc brakes are usually what you’ll find in today’s vehicles. When you put pressure on your brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). These pads create friction with the rotor to slow your vehicle. It’s a hydraulic system that relies on a steady flow of brake fluid.

If any one of those parts of your brakes isn’t working properly, the whole system could 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 roads are worse than others when it comes to traffic. Congested areas demand stopping, starting, slowing and veering all the time. That means your brakes have their work cut out for them. It also means they will likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used mainly in, say, a flat rural area.

Keeping that in mind, it’s always a good idea to have your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated — typically every six months. If you’re an especially aggressive driver, you might want to have them checked more frequently 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 checked. Additionally, if you notice it’s taking longer than normal to come to a complete stop, you should have your brakes looked at 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 Sand Mountain Toyota, we’re committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles – we’d like 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 Sand Mountain Toyota to take care of that for you.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by Sand Mountain Toyota at 9167 US Highway 431, Albertville, AL 35950 today. We look forward to serving our customers from Huntsville and Guntersville.