No aspect of your car is more important than the brakes, where safety is concerned. Yet many struggle to understand the basics of brake maintenance. The good news is that it's fairly simple to make sure your brakes are in good shape. This article will introduce you to two vital tips to help ward off the chance of unwanted brake problems.
Check the brake fluid level--and color--on a regular basis.
You should be able to find your car's brake fluid reservoir labeled clearly beneath the hood. Unscrewing the cap will provide access to the reservoir, and its fluid level needs to be checked from time to time. Before you do this, however, it's wise to give the reservoir cap a good cleaning to remove any oil or other gunk that may have built up there. Such dirt can cause problems if it falls inside of the reservoir.
Once you've got the cap off, you should see a line on the inside of the reservoir which designates the maximum fluid level. There is a corresponding line to designate the minimum level. If you can see this line, it is vital you add more brake fluid before driving your car. Add enough to bring the level up to the top line.
As long as you've got the brake fluid cap off, take a moment to shine a flashlight on the fluid in the reservoir. Pay attention to its color. Fresh fluid will appear light red. If the fluid appears dark red, you know it's starting to get old. Brown or black fluid needs to be replaced at once. This will involve bringing your car to a mechanic, who will flush out the old fluid before refilling the reservoir with fresh oil.
Keep your ears peeled when you're driving.
Brake pads contain an ingenious device known as a wear indicator. This consists of little more than a thin metal plate. When the brake pad wears all the way down to the indicator, it will emit a sharp squeal each time you apply the brakes. If you have recently become aware of this sound, don't ignore it. Your car is attempting to tell you that it's time for a new set of brake pads.
Unusual noises while braking may also be caused by problems with your brake rotors. The accumulation of rust and/or substances left behind by your brake pads can lead to a wide array of strange sounds--from grinding, to squealing, to ear-piercing shrieks. Don't worry about trying to diagnose exactly what a particular sound may mean. Just be aware that, if your car has started to make strange noises when you brake, it's high time to have it inspected by a professional. Contact a collision center for more info.Share
4 May 2016
After our family sedan died, I realized that we needed to focus on finding a new car. I was really frustrated because I had no idea what was out there or what would work best for my family. I started focusing on finding a car that was large enough, and that simple action really made things a lot easier for me. I tracked down a dealership that had mid-size and large SUVs, and I was able to find the right car. This blog is all about narrowing down your car choices, so that you can enjoy your new car and keep your family safe.