How Often Should I Check My Brakes

Brakes are a component of your vehicle that you don't think of much, even though we all know they're important. Keeping them in good shape means a safer ride and better performance. But how do you know how often your brakes should be checked or need servicing? Keep reading to find out how you can keep your brakes in optimal working order.

A Primer on Brakes.

Most brakes found in vehicles today are disc brakes. When you press your brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). The pads create friction with the rotor to slow your vehicle. It's a hydraulic system that relies on a steady flow of brake fluid.

If any one of those components of your brakes isn't working properly, the entire system can fail. The usual culprits of poor braking performance, however, are your brake pads. They should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. The pads wear down over time and, if not changed, can lead to more expensive problems, like a damaged rotor.

Location Matters.

Traffic in crowded areas is worse than in other places. Congested roads require a lot of stopping and starting, meaning your brakes have their work cut out for them. It also means your brakes will likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used primarily in a flat rural area.

With that in mind, it's a good idea to have your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated -- typically every six months. If you're a more intense driver, you might want to have them checked more frequently than that, such as with every oil change. It's also important that you pay attention to what your brakes might be trying to tell you between regular servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If your brake light comes on, it's time to have your brakes checked. Additionally, if you find it's taking longer to come to a complete a stop, you should have your brakes looked at as soon as possible. You may also notice a vibrating sensation when applying your brakes. This generally indicates a brake pad issue, though it could also point to an alignment problem.

Many brakes come with a built-in indicator that's designed to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing thin. While the sound may be annoying, you shouldn't ignore it. If you change your pads when you're supposed to, you won't have to hear that metal-on-metal sound. When you do hear the sound, it's because your pads have worn down completely and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors whenever you press your brake pedal. It can turn an inexpensive fix into an expensive one.

Be Smart. Be Vigilant. Be Safe.

At Chatham Parkway Lexus, we're committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles -- we to give them impeccable service, as well. That commitment goes beyond our showroom to include our service bays. We want to make sure that you and your loved ones arrive safely to wherever you're driving. That means your brakes need to be in good shape. You can count on your friends at Chatham Parkway Lexus to take care of that for you.

If you think it's time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by Chatham Parkway Lexus at 1120 Chatham Parkway, Savannah, GA 31405. We look forward to serving our customers from Statesboro and Bluffton.

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