Brakes may not be the sexiest part of a car, but they’re the most important safety device on your car. Break problems do not rise to a serious level suddenly. Most brake problems develop gradually and if the system is detected properly, these can be detected before they become serious. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers while saving you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Paying attention to the warning signs that indicate a need for service can mean the difference between life and death on the road. Of course, there are some obvious signs that your brakes need servicing, such as the brake light appearing on your car’s dashboard or the feeling that your vehicle is taking longer to stop than it should.
In either of these cases, you should visit your local mechanic for a brake check as soon as possible. But do you know what the other signs are that could indicate an ailing brake system? Here, we deliver just few tips that might help you to inspect the brakes in the future.
On many cars you can inspect the brakes without even removing the wheel. If your car has alloy wheels with spaces in the middle, you can get a proper assessment done by just peeping through the hole at the goodies. Whether you can peep through your wheel or you have to take the wheel off, be sure you have a clear view of the brake pads and the big shiny disc.
Let’s inspect the disc first – It should be shiny from the inside to the outer edge, and fairly uniform. Don’t worry if you can see slight lines in it, this is normal wear. However, if there are any rough spots or pronounced grooves in the disc, you should replace your brake discs. Brake discs should always be replaced in pairs so that your car’s driveability and safety are not compromised.
Now take a look at the pads – You’ll have to peek up to see them, but if you follow the surface of the disc to the top, you’ll see the outside pad touching the disc. If there is 1/8″ or less remaining on the pad, it’s time for new ones. That’s about the height of two coins kept arranged. Don’t worry, brake pads are cheap and replacing your brake pads is a no-sweat job.
Finally, take a look at your brake lines. Rubber coated lines should be soft and supple, not cracked and rigid. If you see cracks in flexible brake lines they will need to be replaced. Also be sure to inspect the hard, metal lines. These can become damaged, especially in snowy regions where chemicals are used on the roads.
Toyota Parts Centers in the Pittsburgh, PA area offer one-stop shopping for parts and accessories for the do-it-yourselfer as well as for dealer-installed products. Located within Toyota dealerships, these stores offer a full selection of Genuine Toyota Parts and Accessories. You’ll also find Pittsburgh brakes at competitive prices.
Also see – Helpful hints for doing your own Car Repair