No one wants to find out their brakes are gone the hard way — by losing control and colliding into a tree.
First things first:
1. Have your brakes professionally inspected every six months.
2. Changed your brake fluid changed every two to three years.
Signs that your vehicle's brakes are in trouble:
Don't ignore your antilock brake system (ABS) light when it pops up on your dashboard. It could mean there's a wiring or electrical problem.
Listen to your brakes. Squealing or grinding noises are signs that your brake pads are wearing thin.
Brake pulsation when coming to a sudden stop or after applying the brakes for a long time typically means the rotors are warped, which can be corrected by putting them on a lathe and machining them smooth.
Be wary of excess drag while you accelerate. Rust may have built up on your emergency brakes, which leaves them "on" even when the lever's down.
When your car pulls from to the side, you have frozen brakes, brakes that are out of alignment, or fluid leaking on the brake pads or shoes.
Stopping distance — When your car takes longer to stop than you're used to, you may need a brake adjustment, new brake linings, or a replacement power booster.
If your brake pedal seems soft or spongy, there may be excess air in the brakes. Your mechanic can release the air through "brake bleeding."
If you're using your vehicle for towing, make sure to have your brakes professionally inspected.
Vic's Auto Center
15880 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035