The braking systems found in modern cars are unlike the brakes of old that were easy for you to replace yourself. If you were handy, even if you were new to car repair, replacing the disc brake pads or drums and replacing hoses and cables might have been a manageable job. With modern cars that have disc brakes on all four wheels and many other features, maintenance and repair are often best left to the professionals.
In a world more conscious of safety, fuel efficiency, and energy usage, braking systems are often enhanced with intricate upgrades. To help retain control, for example, most cars now have antilock brake systems (ABS) with sensors on the wheels to detect that the car is skidding so that it will close the brakes to slow down the vehicle and help keep you on the road. Additional features such as electronic stability control (ESC), adaptive cruise control (ACC) and brake assist (BA) add additional complexity that might be beyond your skill set to repair and adjust.
When do You Need Brake Service?
Car manufacturers often suggest how often you should check your braking system. The brake pads are often the first to show wear, especially if you are on the road a lot. An average driver needs to check (or have a mechanic check) every 6 to 12 months or every 8 to 12 months if you drive very little. A heavy driver needs a check every three months. Regardless of the timing, if your brakes do not respond quickly, you hear scraping or squealing, the brake light comes on, the brakes seem to pull your car from one side to the other when you try to stop, or the brake pedal feels spongy, you should immediately take the car for service.
What Brake System Inspections can Reveal
A more thorough brake inspection goes beyond quickly looking at the pads and can encompass dozens of points. The brake pedal, master cylinder, brake booster, fluids, hoses, and intricate parts of your ABS or other system can cause your brake pads to wear more frequently or may cause the brakes to not function properly. A technician with state-of-the-art training and equipment should be able to analyze and fix your problem. After making the repair, the technician will also test drive your car to make sure that the problem you mentioned is gone.
One reason that professional brake inspection is important has nothing to do with the brakes at all. When your car makes noises or acts in a peculiar way, what you think may be due to the brakes may be due to some completely different system. Worn tires, poor alignment, or suspension problems all produce symptoms similar to brake problems. A good mechanic should be able to zero in on what the problem is and save you the expense of hit or miss, which can cost you in parts, while not solving your problem.
When it’s time to get your braking system checked, State Automotive has the trained personnel and the equipment to quickly diagnose and repair your problems.