When it comes to the safety of your vehicle, the brake system is at the top of the vehicle safety checklist. Brake Safety Awareness Month in August, sponsored by the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP), is a great time to have your brakes inspected to make sure they are in safe working condition. The Car Care Council recommends checking the brakes routinely and repairing or replacing when necessary.
“A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of conditions,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It is important for motorists to be alert and recognize the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair. Letting the brakes get to the ‘metal-to-metal’ point can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill.”
Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced. Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. Never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the ‘metal-to-metal’ point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill.
If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your brakes. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.
For routine maintenance, check a vehicle’s braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For more information, visit www.carcare.org.