Auto Auction Baltimore Check Your Brakes

Image via Flickr by The Tire Zoo

You probably know that you need to get your oil changed every so often and your tires rotated every six months. You may not worry too much about your brakes, but brake pads should be inspected for wear and tear every time your tires are rotated and replaced when necessary.

If you’ve never had your brake pads replaced before or it’s been a while, here’s how to tell if it’s time to get your car to the mechanic.

Strange Sounds When You Brake

Any unfamiliar noise you hear in your car needs to be investigated. The same is true with your brakes. If you hear grinding, clicking, screeching, or the sound of metal scraping when you press the brake, the brake pads are probably worn out and need replacement. Don’t wait until the noise gets unbearable to do something about it.

Brake Dust On Your Wheels

A certain amount of dust is to be expected on your wheels, but brake dust accumulation is a sign of wear and tear. Ironically, as your brake pads wear out even more, the amount of dust decreases. If your wheels are cleaner after you consistently notice brake dust on them, it’s past time to get those pads looked at and replaced.

Thin Brake Pads

Being thin and trim may be good for a lot of things, but not for your brake pads. Many vehicles have wheels that allow you to see your brake pads without pulling the car apart. Take a look and check how thick or thin the pad is. Get your brake pads looked at and replaced if the pads are a quarter of an inch or thinner, as this is a sign of wear and tear.

Pulsating Brakes

Brake vibrations that occur when you press down on the pedal are known as “pulsating brakes” and aren’t a good sign. Two things can cause the problem, and both need to be taken care of by your mechanic. Your brake pads are either warped by heat or need to be replaced.

Grooves in the Rotor

The only way you’ll know if you have grooves in your rotor is if you’re handy enough to know how to work on your own car. As you’re checking your brake pads, look at your rotors, too. If you see “scores” or grooves, your brake pads are worn and need replacing. The rotors may also need to be replaced if the grooves are really deep.

Your Car Pulls to the Side

A car that pulls to the side when you’re driving can be an indication of any number of problems. It’s a brake pad problem when it occurs anytime you use your brakes but aren’t turning the wheel. Get your car to the mechanic to check for brake pad problems or other issues.

There are plenty of mechanical issues no one wants to think about. Your brakes failing as you’re driving down the road is one of them. Don’t ignore strange noises or issues when you apply the brakes. Keep your car maintained and get your brake pads replaced as necessary.