The braking system is arguably one of the most important parts of your car, as it ensures that your trip will be as safe as possible. You need to take into consideration that if you do a lot of city driving, this will cause the brakes to wear out much faster than if you are primarily driving on highways or main roads outside the city, regardless of how many miles you have on board.
Most cars have sensors, which scrape the brake disc, making an alarming screeching sound whenever the brakes are pressed or released (depending on the car model). If your car doesn’t have those sensors, you can still hear specific sounds like squeaks, squeals or a grinding sound. The latter indicates that your brake pads are probably gone completely, so it’s best to stop and replace them right away. In some cases, however, you will notice that brake pads just need a bit of cleaning in order to reduce or even eliminate the sound completely; so checking them regularly for this could spare you a lot of trouble.
Aside from the specific sounds your car might make, you can also rely on the brake warning light. Remember though that this light only comes on for a short while when you start the car, so it is very easy to miss. If you notice the light go on while you are driving, it is a sign that there are some problems with your brake fluid and so you might want to look into that as soon as possible.
Your best bet would be to take a look at the brake pads themselves if you feel like there is something wrong with the braking system. The most common problem is that brake pads are worn out, but this is an easy thing to asses by yourself if you get a good look at them. Usually, most pads have an indicator on them, showing how much wear is too much.
However, if you are not experienced or don’t want to go through the whole process yourself, you can always take your car to a shop and have a professional mechanic assess the situation, or you can simply check the brakes when you take your car to have its tires rotated; you should do this around once every six months. In the end, you are better off being safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to act quickly if you suspect that there is something wrong with your brakes; it could save lives.
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