Is a squeaking noise interrupting your favorite song? Does it seem like a little more force is needed to stop at crosswalks? Both of these signs mean you need to pay more attention to your vehicle’s brakes and brake pads. This needed-attention to prevent brake failure is as easy as ‘Stop,’ ‘Look’ and ‘Listen’.
Stop: That tiny bit of extra pressure you put down to make your car stop at the corner? That’s a warning sign. Any change in the time it takes to bring your car to a complete stop could be a sign of worn of brake pads or failing brakes. Similarly, if you feel your car pulling to one side when you apply the brakes, notice the brake pedal vibrating when you push on it or find that you are applying more pressure to the brake pedal than normal to bring your car to a complete stop, you have an issue worth investigating.
Look: The next time you’re in an auto shop, ask your mechanic to point out where your car’s brakes are, where the brake pads are located and to help you identify the various parts that make up the braking system of your car. Keep an eye on your car’s brake pads, looking for signs of wear indicating you need to get them checked or replaced. In addition to looking out for your own car, if you notice someone else’s car showing signs of brake wear, let the owner know.
Listen: The first clue to a brake or brake pad issue is often audible. Turn down your radio, roll down your window and listen as you apply your car’s brakes. Do you hear a high-pitch squeal when you brake? Is your car squealing? Or are your car’s brakes grinding? All three of these noises are signals of a possible brake or brake pad issues which should be checked as soon possible. Taking the time to check your brakes and knowing when to change brake pads helps prevent brake failure and makes the roads safe for everyone