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How Often Should My Brakes Be Inspected?
October 5th, 2015
Consider this for a minute. The average American vehicle is driven around 12-15,000 miles per year. Studies show that in the course of that year, you’re going to step on your brakes 75,000 times! In light of that, it makes sense that you should have your brakes checked pretty frequently. But how frequently?
Let’s figure it this way. Your tires need to be rotated every 5-6,000 miles…and since all four tires will be off the car and the vehicle will be up on a lift, that’s a good time to inspect all the brake pads and rotors for wear. The friction material of the pads is designed to wear down, but for most drivers the wear is fairly slow.
A good brake inspection should look at:
- Pads or shoes
- Rotors or drums
- Wheel cylinders
- Hardware such as springs and adjusters (for drum brakes)
- Brake lines
- Parking brake
- Condition of fluid
If your brakes are starting to show serious wear, they’ll let you know about it. You’ll start to notice a squeal when you step on the brakes, or a grinding sound if they’re really all the way gone. The brakes may feel “spongy” underfoot, you may have to depress the brake pedal further. Stopping distances will lengthen and you may feel a pulsing or vibrating sensation through the brake pedal.
Many brake pad designs include a small spring-steel tab on the pad’s backing that serves as a wear indicator. When the brakes wear past a certain point, the tab will drag on the rotor’s surface, making a loud squeal to alert you. The longer you let any of these symptoms go on, the more you’re going to run up your brake repair bill…and the more you run the risk of the next sound you hear being a loud crash.
|How Often Should My Brakes Be Inspected? was written by Mike Najjar of Master Auto and Tire|
Posted in: Brakes