When Is It Time to Get Your Brakes Checked?

Closeup of a mechanic replacing the brake pad on a car


Brakes are among your vehicle’s most important features. After all, they’re the only way you can help control your speed and come to a stop. To ensure that your brakes are always in top-notch shape, here are a few ways you can determine whether you need to bring them in for service here at Newton Chevrolet GMC.

Listen to Them

Do you hear a screeching sound every time you apply your brakes? Brake pads have indicators that will make this noise when it’s time to change them. If you’re hearing this sound regularly, then it’s time to bring your vehicle in for service. Also, listen for a grinding or growling sound. This indicates that you’ve completely worn down your brake pads completely and the disc and caliper are rubbing together.

Feel the Pull

If you brake and your vehicle pulls to one side or the other, then you should get your brakes checked. This is a sign that your brake linings are wearing unevenly — or there’s something in the brake fluid. Your mechanic will likely have to adjust your brakes or have your brake fluid drained and replaced.

Bad Vibrations

When your brake pedal vibrates or jumps when you push, it can indicate warped brake rotors. This would feel similar to when your anti-lock brakes are engaged. Warped rotors are typically caused when you’re driving down a steep mountain or when towing. Make sure you’re aware of this feeling if you do either of these activities frequently.

Take a Look

One of the easiest ways to check and see if you need to get your brakes checked is to simply look at your brake pads. You can see them through your wheel’s spokes. There should be at least a quarter inch of pad, and the outside pad should be pressed against a metal rotor. If there’s less than a quarter inch, then your brake pads should be inspected or replaced.

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