You are driving along the highway, radio playing your favorite tunes and the weather is fairly decent, except for a few scattered clouds. Keeping up with the traffic, you don’t notice you are slightly going over the speed limit. A deer runs out in front of the car ahead of you and he slams on his brakes. You react quickly, but your foot hits the floor and your car keeps going, crashing into the backend of the stopped vehicle. The next thing you remember is waking up in a hospital.
Your brakes had failed. Checking your brakes on a regular basis could have prevented the failure.
Before hitting the highway, check the following parts of your car’s brake system to make sure all is functioning well:
Brake pads and rotor – Your rotor should be smooth and have no chips or dents in it and the pads should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. If the pads have become thinner, they need replacing.
Squealing or grinding – Neither of these sounds is “normal” for your car to make. If you hear either, the brakes are not working in their top condition and they need to be checked and possibly replaced.
Pulling to right or left – This can actually be caused by wheels that need to be aligned. However, a caliper that is defective can also cause this reaction in your car. Have your brakes checked.
Warped rotor – If you often put a lot of stress on your brakes by driving on steep terrain or pulling a heavy load, you may cause the rotor to warp, which will make your brake pedal vibrate when pressed. Any vibration needs to be checked out.
Unruly pedal – Any time your brake pedal reacts abnormally, it can indicate a problem that needs immediate attention. Stay safe and have those brakes checked.
It’s important to check the brakes before you hit the road so you can reach your destination safely!