7 Signs You Need a Brake JobSafety is a top consideration for drivers. While today's cars offer more safety features than ever, from passive devices like air bags to active features such as stability control, nothing replaces careful attention to the most fundamental safety feature: brakes.
An annual brake inspection should be at the top of every motorist's to-do list. Better yet, year-round attention to braking performance and developing the habit of listening for signs that brakes need attention should be part of every wise driver's skillset.
"There are warning signs that brakes need maintenance," says Dean Pisciotta, president of Brakes Plus, the family-owned and operated car maintenance and repair chain. "It's important for every driver to take some time to learn what to look for and listen for. Some signs are simply not to be ignored."
Here are 7 signs your brakes need to be inspected:
1. Feel the drag! Be alert to brakes that seem to stick, wheels that are hot or an engine that seems to lose power. The brakes may be failing to release; alternately, the condition could reverse, leaving you with no brakes at all.
2. There's a pull. Does the vehicle pull to the left or right when brakes are applied? Make sure tires are fully inflated. If the pull persists, it's time for a professional to check the brakes.
3. Stomping on the brakes? It should not take extreme muscle power to make the brakes work. This "hard pedal" symptom, when the brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging, can indicate brake trouble.
4. Brake light is on. There are several reasons the brake light is illuminated on the vehicle dashboard. The problem could be simple: brake fluid could be low. Or, it could involve a hydraulic system failure.
5. Shake, shake, shake. Can you feel the brake pedal, steering wheel or your entire vehicle vibrating, pulsating or shaking? This may indicate a problem with disc brake rotors or a faulty steering mechanism.
6. There's a racket. Brakes should operate with very little noise. Don't ignore squeals, screeches, grinding, groaning, chatter, clatter or bangs. Your brakes may need repair.
7. Grab. "Touchy" brakes that grab with the least bit of pressure may indicate that brake linings are contaminated with grease or oil, or a component is broken and could fail.
Brakes wear out and will eventually need to be replaced. How quickly depends on factors unique to you: your driving habits, type of vehicle and when and where you drive.
"August is the perfect month to get in the habit of having your brakes inspected," says Pisciotta. "Come fall, many moms and dads are back in the swing of getting kids back and forth to school and shuttling them to sports and after-school activities. An inspection now brings families peace of mind as we head into the busy fall and winter."
Take advantage of brake inspection and maintenance coupons and specials on at the Brakes Plus website.
Brakes Plus, with 66 locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, Nebraska and Iowa, makes it easy for customers to get great car service. The growing chain has a reputation for dependable brake services, oil changes and all kinds of car repair and maintenance. The stores offer customers free shuttle service and free wireless Internet, in addition to impeccable service and affordable prices.