The brakes are arguably the most important components in your car, as they help you navigate traffic safely. To ensure your brakes are in prime condition, you may need to replace certain parts or the whole system periodically. Whenever you’re driving your car, you can pay attention to the signs your car gives you so you know when a repair or replacement may be in order. Read on to learn about your brake system and how to tell when you need to replace it.
What Parts Make Up a Brake System?
Your car’s brakes have several components, including:
- Master cylinder.
- Wheel brake assemblies.
- Brake lines.
These components work together to help you control when you stop your car. Some components may wear out faster than others, so you may only need to repair or replace a singular part. In other instances, you may need to repair or replace a couple of components at once or the entire system.
Here at Huffines CJDR Lewisville, we have access to all the brake parts you may need at our Mopar Service Center. You can stop by today for a brake inspection, and our experienced service technicians will determine whether your brakes are in good shape or need a repair. This way, you can start driving with confidence once again.
How Often Should You Get Your Brakes Replaced?
How often you should get your brakes replaced depends on the particular component. Some parts, like the pads, may only last between 20,000 and 30,000 miles. Other components, like the rotors, will last much longer. You may be able to travel between 50,000 and 70,000 miles before your vehicle is due for brake rotor replacements. If you’re unsure if your brakes are due for replacement, check your owner’s manual for your particular vehicle’s recommend maintenance schedule, or bring your vehicle to our service center at Huffines CJDR Lewisville for a professional inspection.
How Do You Know When You Need New Brakes?
Here are some telltale signs that your vehicle is due for some new brakes:
Vibrations When Braking
Think about when you brake normally, whether you’re coming to a standstill at a traffic light or stopping as you pull into your driveway. Do you feel excessive vibrations? If so, your vehicle may have warped brake rotors. Your vehicle has four brake rotors — one on each wheel. The brake rotor is responsible for pressing the brake pad against the wheel to help your vehicle come to a stop.
Over time, your brake rotors may wear out. They might also experience overheating, which can cause them to warp. With a disfigured surface, the brake rotors will be unable to contact the brake pads normally. This uneven contact will lead to the vibration that you may feel when you attempt to brake.
Excessive Pulling of Your Vehicle
When you brake, you should be able to come to a complete stop while remaining in your lane or otherwise on a straight path. If your vehicle tends to pull when you brake, it may have worn-out brake pads. The brake pads may have worn out with time, but a lack of tire rotations or improper tire alignment might also be the culprits.
The problem may also lie with your brake fluid. Over time, debris might have infiltrated and mixed in with your brake fluid, which can make it less effective. If this is the case, one of our service technicians at Huffines CJDR Lewisville can flush out the tainted brake fluid and pour in fresh fluid to restore your brakes’ functionality.
When you apply your brakes, they shouldn’t sound like squealing mice. If you do hear some squeaks, you shouldn’t ignore these noises. They’re likely a sign that your brake pads are wearing down. These squeaky noises are the result of your brake pads’ metal shim coming in contact with your brake rotors. This grinding motion and the resulting unpleasant sound aren’t supposed to happen, so it’s important to replace your brake pads as soon as possible.
Poor Braking Performance
Poor braking performance is a clear sign that you need a brake repair or replacement. Do you have to step a little harder on the brake to get it to come to a stop? Does the brake feel spongy when you press down on it? If you answered yes to either of these questions or otherwise notice that your brakes are unresponsive, you can take your vehicle to the service center at Huffines CJDR Lewisville. We can repair associated issues, which may include worn brake pads, a leak in the brake hose, or insufficient brake fluid.
How To Keep Your Brakes in Good Condition
Here are some tips you can follow to keep your brakes in good condition:
Create a Safe Distance From the Car in Front of You
Always try to create a safe distance from the car in front of you. Ideally, you can abide by the three-second rule, which means that you keep the length of at least three cars between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Try your best to maintain a consistent speed instead of constantly speeding up and slowing down. You can also avoid slamming down on your brakes to come to an abrupt stop.
Drive With One Foot
If you’ve ever learned to drive a manual transmission at one point in your life, you may have learned to drive with two feet. It’s important to break this habit if you now have a vehicle with an automatic transmission. Driving with two feet might mean that you have your left foot resting on the brake constantly. This can create unwanted pressure and resistance, which can lead to the premature degeneration of your brakes. It’s best to stick with one-foot driving to preserve your brakes’ condition.
Know Your Vehicle’s Weight
You can protect your brakes by getting a rough idea of your vehicle’s weight. If you recently sold your gas-powered vehicle for an electric vehicle, you should know that electric vehicles are heavier. This increased weight can make them harder to stop, so you may want to practice applying more pressure to your brake and increasing your following distance when you’re on the road.
Even if you follow the maintenance tips we’ve discussed, you may be unable to avoid a brake repair or replacement, especially as your years of vehicle ownership increase. You can schedule service with our team at Huffines CJDR Lewisville today to get a brake inspection for your vehicle along with other important maintenance services.