As an auto repair shop in the Greater Boston area, we want to make sure that everyone is driving safely. One key to safe driving is having reliable brakes. Stopping power is very important when driving in and around a dense metropolitan area. This is especially true in New England where we have wet leaves in the fall and snow and ice during the winters. We highly recommend that drivers in our area act proactively when it comes to their brakes. If you notice a loss in stopping power, or hear sounds when applying your brakes you should make an appointment with a local auto repair shop. But even before making an appointment you can always self-inspect your brakes.
How To Check Your Brake Pads
On many car and truck models, it is possible to see your brake pads through the gaps in your hubcap on the wheels. When looking at your brake pads you are looking for how thick they are. It may require a flashlight but if your brake pads are thinner than a quarter-inch you should consider having them replaced. Each time you brake your pads get more worn down, this is especially true if you make abrupt sudden stops frequently. Some brake pads actually have a wear indicator slot in the center of the pad. If the slot is gone or barely visible, it is time to replace your brakes. Some car models actually can trigger a warning on the dashboard when this indicator slot gets worn down.
Removing Wheels To Look At Brake Pads
Although not a suggested DIY project for all vehicle owners, some people will remove their car’s wheels to take a look at the brake pads (if they are not visible otherwise). Using a jack they will remove tires just like they would if they had a flat. Once the wheel is removed you will be able to see the brake pad as well as the caliper, brake lines, and rotor. From there you can check for any damage that might require replacement or repair services.
Signs That Your Brakes Need An Inspection
Beyound checking your brake pads visually you should always be aware of signs that your brakes may need servicing. Always be aware of sounds made when you apply your brake. Sounds usually indicate that the brake pad has worn completely through. This can make driving unsafe and lead to damage to your brake’s rotors. Additionally, if your brakes shudder or vibrate when pressed this is also an indication of a potential issue.