How Often Should My Brakes Be Checked?

Is It Time to Check Your Brakes?

No one thinks about their brakes until you hear them begin to squeak. Everyone knows that they need to routinely get their brakes examined, but do you know how often they actually need to be checked? Here at Gastonia Nissan, we want you to stay up to date on the ways you can stay safe and have the greatest peace of mind on the road. Keep reading to find out how often you should have your brakes checked.

A Primer on Brakes.

Disc brakes are normally what you’ll encounter in modern vehicles. When you put pressure on your brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). These pads create friction with the rotor to slow your vehicle. It’s a hydraulic system that depends on a steadfast flow of brake fluid.

If any one of those parts of your brakes isn’t functioning correctly, the whole system could 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.

Crowded roads are worse than others when it comes to traffic. Congested areas call for stopping, starting, slowing and veering all the time. This means that your brakes might be working harder than usual. It also means they will likely need servicing before a vehicle used mainly in, say, a flat rural area.

It’s always a smart plan to have your brakes examined whenever you have your tires rotated — typically every six months. If you happen to be an especially aggressive 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 your regular servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If the brake indicator light comes on, then it’s time to have your brakes checked. Additionally, if you notice it’s taking longer than normal to come to a complete stop, you should have your brakes looked at as soon as possible. You might 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 made to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing thin. While the sound may be irritating, it could save you a lot of money down the road. That’s because if you replace your pads when you’re supposed to, you won’t have to hear that metal-on-metal sound. When you do notice that sound, it’s because your pads have worn down totally 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.

Here at Gastonia Nissan, we’re committed to supplying our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles – we’d like to provide them with impeccable service too. This dedication doesn’t just stop in our showroom. Ultimately, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones arrive safely to wherever you drive to, meaning you need to be able to count on your brakes. You can rely on your friends at Gastonia Nissan to take care of that for you.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by 2275 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054. We look forward to serving customer near the Greater Charlotte Area.