How Often Should You Have Your Brakes Checked?

Is It Time to Check Your Brakes?

Every driver knows that brakes are important, but what every driver might not know is how often brakes should be checked. Damaged brakes can cause major safety problems for both you and other drivers on the road, so read the following to find out how often you should have a mechanic check them.

A Primer on Brakes.

The majority of brakes found in vehicles now are disc brakes. When the brake pedal is pressed, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). The pads then create friction with the rotor to slow your vehicle. This hydraulic system relies on a steady flow of brake fluid.

If any one of those components work incorrectly, the entire system can fail. Poor braking performance, however, are usually caused by thin brake pads. Brake pads should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. Theses pads wear down over time and can lead to more expensive problems, like a damaged rotor, if they are not taken care of.

Location Matters.

Busy areas are worse on your brakes than other areas when it comes to traffic. Congested roads cause a lot of stopping, starting, slowing and veering, which can place extra stress on your brakes. Because of this, they'll probably need servicing sooner than a vehicle used mainly in less busy areas like flat, rural areas.

Keeping that in mind, getting your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated, typically every six months, is always a good idea. More aggressive drivers might want to have them checked even more often than that, possibly with every oil change. It’s also important that you pay attention to your brakes’ performance between routine services.

Warning Signs.

If your brake light comes on, then your brakes need to be examined. If you notice that your car takes a longer amount of time to make a complete stop, have a mechanic looked at them as soon as possible. If you feel a vibration when applying your brakes, this generally points to a brake pad issue, though it could also point to an alignment problem.

Many brakes have a built-in indicator that squeals or screeches when the pads wear down. While this sound may be annoying, it can save you a lot of money down the road. If you change your pads early on, you won’t have to listen to that metal-on-metal sound. This sound lets you know that your pads have worn down completely and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors whenever your brake pedal is pressed. What would have been an inexpensive fix can quickly turn into an expensive one.

Be Smart. Be Vigilant. Be Safe.

McKinney Mazda wants to provide customers with more than an amazing selection of vehicles -- we want to deliver impeccable service as well. Our commitment extends beyond our showroom to our service bays. You and your loved ones’ safely is important to us, so we want your brakes to be in excellent shape so you can drive safely wherever you go. You can trust your friends at McKinney Mazda to take care of your brakes for you.

If it’s time for a brake check, contact us or stop by McKinney Mazda at 4544 Calhoun Memorial Highway, Easley, SC 29640. We look forward to serving our customers from Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson.