How to know if you need new brakes? - OHS Body Shop

The braking system of every vehicle is complicated and involves many parts and processes that have to work smoothly. Eventually, your safety and life may depend on it. That is why taking care of your brakes and changing them on time is always named among the most important routine maintenance procedures. The usual recommendation is to change the brake pads every 50,000 miles. But it may depend on every factor. The main one is the driving conditions. Of course in the big-city traffic, especially when your regular driving route is home-work-home, breaks might be working overtime. Some other factors and conditions may influence the life expectancy of your brakes. Here are just some signs that you might want to head to the car service right away.

Indicator light

Of course, this is the most obvious sign. But surprisingly, this symptom is being ignored by most drivers. As long as the car still stops while they hit the brakes, the indicator light is often considered as a glitch in the system and the visit to the garage might be postponed till it is too late. The truth is, most modern vehicles have s sensor that triggers as soon as the brake pads wear down. So this annoying indicator is not just one more lightbulb went crazy, it is a serious reason to pay a visit to your mechanic.

Squeaky sounds

Another quite annoying and often neglected symptom. Yes, squealing breaks might be quite normal in certain cases. Mostly – in highly-humid weather or rainy days. But you hear squeaky sound every time you hit the brakes, no matter what the weather is, this is an ultimate cry for help and a reason to have your brakes checked.

Vibrating pedal

When you hit the brakes, the pedal has to be steady and smooth smoothly and firmly. In case you feel any kind of vibration under your foot or the pedal goes with some tangible resistance, you may be sure that your brake pads have worn out. Neglecting this symptom might lead to further damage of the whole hydraulic system and a heavy bill from the service center.

Grinding metal sound

Most manufacturers place small metal ridges on the bottom of brake pads. Once you start hearing a grinding metal sound while hitting the brakes, it means that the pads have worn-off and should be changed immediately. Not just it is an extremely annoying symptom, it might be quite dangerous for your vehicle in general. When metal parts of your car start to grind and rub, this inevitably leads to mechanical damage. Therefore, any kind of grinding sound or sensation should be checked thoroughly by a professional to prevent further damage to the rest systems.

The 1/4 inch rule

This sign is useful when you are buying a purchased vehicle. Of course, there are lots of responsible drivers who perform a comprehensive visual check of their cars regularly, but let`s be realistic, hardly would anybody bend overlooking at the rotor of the tire. Anyway, if you eventually do, you will be able to see the brake pad clearly. And if it seems to be thinner than 1/4 inch, this is a clear and sure indicator that the brake pads should be replaced ASAP.

The importance of serviceable brakes cannot be overrated. Even those who hardly know anything about mechanics understand the vital role of brakes. OHS Body Shop is always happy to welcome customers and provide comprehensive service to their cars. OHS Body Shop serves the Greater Flathead Valley and offers auto body repairs and more at our service centers in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Visit the closest to you to get comprehensive consultation from our qualified mechanics and the best prices in the area for all kinds of service.