If someone were to ask you to check your vehicle’s most important safety system – would you know to check your brakes? Many drivers might not. That’s why August is Brake Safety Awareness Month. Brakes that do not operate properly (or that have worn out brake pads and rotors), greatly reduce your ability to stop – not to mention the fact that it’s also extremely dangerous. Get into an accident and your auto insurance company could make things difficult for you if it’s determined you caused the crash due to unsafe brakes.
The braking system is at the top of the list when it comes to vehicle safety for good reason. And, with August being Brake Safety Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to have your brakes inspected to be sure they’re in safe working condition before school starts and the warm weather gives way to colder, rainy days.
According to the Car Care Council, a non-profit organization, brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced. For routine maintenance, check your vehicle’s braking system several times a year. If you regularly take your vehicle to a dealership for service, have them perform a thorough inspection while you’re there.
Generally, there may be no charge or a minimal one. This 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.
You should immediately have your brakes inspected if your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes. Other warning signs, such as an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing are also indicators something could be wrong.
Of course, there are several factors that affect brake wear, including your driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type, and the quality of the brake lining material currently on the vehicle. Always put your safety and the safety of others first – never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair. Letting the brakes get down to the “metal-to-metal” point, is not only risky, but it can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill should the rotors require replacement.
Executive director of the Car Care Council, Rich White, stresses the importance of a properly operating brake system because it helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of driving conditions. By recognizing the signs and symptoms that the brake system may need maintenance or repair, motorists can put a stop to any potential problems that could cause an accident.
The Car Care Council offers tools to help you learn more about auto care and brake repair. Visit www.carcare.org to order a free copy of the popular 80-page Car Care Guide or sign up for their free personalized service schedule and email reminder service. And, for more brake safety advice, inspection, and service tips, you can follow the Car Care Council on Instagram.
Remember – keeping your vehicle’s brakes operating properly can help prevent an accident. And, being properly protected with the best auto insurance rates available can save you money. Why not get a free auto insurance quote comparison today?
Do you have your brakes checked regularly? How often? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.