It Might Be Time to Check Your Brakes

There's little more frightening than driving a vehicle with bad brakes. Worn or faulty brakes not only pose a safety risk to you, but they also potentially endanger other drivers on the road, as well. Still, many people aren't sure when they should have their brakes checked. Fortunately, we've highlighted how often you should have a mechanic look at them below.

Brakes 101

Most vehicles today utilize disc brakes. When you press the brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). The pads create friction with the rotor to slow down your vehicle. The entire system uses hydraulics and relies on brake fluid to help ensure it functions properly.

In many cases of poor or compromised braking, it's your brake pads that are at the root of the problem. The pads wear down over time and, if not changed, can lead to more costly problems, like a rotor that needs replacing. Changing out brake pads is fairly simple, so it's important that you change them out before you damage your rotors.

Where You Drive Matters

Driving in cities or busy roads wears down your brakes faster than normal, because those congested roads require a lot of stopping, slowing and veering. In other words, your brakes get a lot of use. And that means they'll likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used primarily in rural or less busy area.

Regardless of your driving conditions, it's a good idea to have your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated — typically every six months. But if you're in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, you might even want to have them checked every time you have your oil changed.

Listen to Your Car

In addition to scheduled checks, you should also listen to what your vehicle might be telling between your regular servicing intervals. If your brake light comes on, then it's obviously time to have someone check your brakes. In addition, if you notice it's taking longer to come to a complete stop, you should have a service technician look at your braking system as soon as possible. You may also notice a vibrating sensation when applying your brakes. That generally indicates a brake pad issue, though it could also point to an alignment problem.

On top of that, many brakes come with a built-in indicator that's designed to make a high-pitched sound when the pads are wearing thin. While the sound may be annoying, it can save you a lot of money down the road. When you hear that annoying noise, it's actually your car telling you that your pads have worn down completely and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors whenever you press your brake pedal. Schedule brake service to avoid expensive a fix — replacing your rotors — down the road.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe

At Parks Lincoln of Gainesville, we offer more than a great selection of quality new and pre-owned vehicles; we offer incredible service, too. And no matter where the road may take you, we want to ensure that you and your loved ones arrive safely. That means your brakes need to be working properly, and you can count on the professionals at Parks Lincoln of Gainesville to make sure they are.

If you think it's time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by our dealership at 3333 North Main St., Gainesville, FL 32609. As always, we look forward to serving our customers from Gainesville, FL, and throughout Alachua, Starke, Ocala and Lake City.