Your vehicle's brakes carry a lot of responsibility. They work to protect both you and other drivers on the road, but we rarely think of them as a vital component to be routinely maintained. Regular examinations and maintenance are crucial to effective brake performance, so keep reading to learn more about how often you should get them checked.
Most brakes in vehicles today are disc brakes. When you press the 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 these components aren't working properly, the entire system can fail. The usual culprit of poor braking performance, however, is the 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.
Crowded areas have more difficult traffic than others. Congested roads require a lot of stopping, starting, slowing and veering, meaning your brakes have their work cut out for them. It also means they'll likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used mainly in, say, a flat rural area.
Keeping 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 an especially aggressive driver, you might want to have them checked more often than that, like 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.
If the brake light comes on, then it's time to have them checked. Additionally, if you notice it's taking longer to come to a full stop, you should have the brakes looked at as soon as possible. You may also notice a vibrating sensation when applying your brakes. That generally indicates a brake pad issue, though it could also point to an alignment problem.
Many brakes are equipped with a built-in indicator that's designed to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing down. While the sound may be obnoxious, it can save you a great deal of money down the road. That's because 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 that noise, it's because your pads have worn down completely, and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors when you press your brake pedal. It can turn an inexpensive fix into an expensive one.
At John Roberts Toyota, we're committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles -- we seek to provide them with high-quality service, as well. That commitment goes beyond our showroom to include our service bays. Ultimately, 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 John Roberts Toyota to take care of that for you.
If you think it's time to get your brakes examined, contact us or stop by John Roberts Toyota at 2610 Hillsboro Blvd. Manchester, TN 37355. We look forward to serving our customers from Murfreesboro, Shelbyville and Middle Tennessee.