When to Take Your Car in for Brake Service

The brakes on your car are used every time you slow or stop the vehicle, and the friction material on them is intended to wear over time. Deciding when to take the car in for brake service and have the pads replaced is not difficult, and if you pay attention to your vehicle, some of these signs will help.

Changes in Brake Feel

When you drive your car every day, you start to get a feel for the brakes and notice when they begin to be less effective. The stopping distance may increase, the pedal feel may change, and the way the car handles as you apply the brakes can all indicate the need to take your vehicle to a brake services technician for inspection. 

The way the brakes feel is often one of the earliest signs of issues, so if you put your foot on the brake and it just feels different, or the car does not feel like it is stopping as well as it did previously, have it checked. Most auto brake services will do a brake system inspection for you free of charge and make recommendations for repairs if there is a need. 

Sometimes the pads are just glazed, and the tech can rough the surface of them to make them work better, but if there is a problem, waiting until the brakes stop working is asking for trouble. Brake failure at any speed can result in an accident that can cause a lot of damage to the car or others around you. 

Unusual Brake Noise

Brakes making strange noises is not a new thing. As the brake pads wear, the steel baking plate that supports the friction material may be exposed and make contact with the brake rotor. The result is a grinding noise that needs to be checked right away. 

Some brake pad materials like semi-metallic pads, for instance, are prone to squealing, but it is still a good idea to have the brakes checked if you start to hear noises that are not normal for your car. The brake pads may still have a lot of material on them, but if they don't and you ignore the noise, damage can occur to the brake rotor and require the brake services tech to replace them. 

The parts can be expensive, so avoiding damage by being proactive when the brakes' sound on your car changes is best. The time you spend having the brakes inspected at an auto brake services center could save you significantly on repairs or replacement parts later on.