The brakes are an integral component of your car. They keep you, your passengers and other drivers on the road safe and can help you react to any unexpected obstacle in your path. Brakes can only protect you if they are working, however. Knowing when to replace your brakes can help keep you safe and save you time and money. Main Auto Body, Inc. has the knowledge that can help you make the right decision about your car’s brakes, so you can avoid any further damage.
You probably don’t need to be told what can happen if your brakes were to stop working while you were driving. Not having the ability to stop immediately would create a dangerous situation for everyone on the road around your vehicle. Over 20% of accidents are related to brake failure, making it one of the most common reasons for crashes. This could lead to injury and damage to your car, which comes along with bills that will likely be higher than the cost of replacing your brakes. You also could be held liable if it is found that you were aware that your brakes needed replacement, but were holding off. In order to avoid these unfortunate outcomes, take action and get your brakes replaced as soon as you notice an issue popping up.
Damage to Other Car Parts
When your brakes start deteriorating, that’s enough of a problem by itself. But when left untreated, the issue can affect other parts of your car and compound the damage to your vehicle. Some of the common areas of the car that can be hurt from bad brakes include:
- Suspension: Having poor brakes can loosen up your suspension and cause damage to its parts. This can cause the car to vibrate and lurch forward when you apply the brakes.
- Tires: Since your brakes aren’t as effective as they should be, your tires will take on extra wear as you stop with more force. This will cause the rubber on the tires to wear down more quickly and make replacement necessary sooner than usual.
- Calipers and Rotors: The calipers press down on the rotors to slow your wheels down. Your brake pads are located in between the calipers and rotors to provide protection, but when the pads wear down, it allows free contact between the two parts. This will create a grinding noise and severe damage to both the calipers and rotors, resulting in the need for more extensive repairs.
Throwing Off Your Alignment
Much of the damage to your other car parts due to faulty brakes can also contribute to ruining your alignment. When bad brakes loosen up your suspension and cause vibrations and excess movement after hitting a bump, those are key signs that your alignment is askew. Having worn down brakes can also cause your car to pull to one direction while trying to slow down. The brake linings may be experiencing wear at different rates, so one side will brake quicker than the other, causing your car to swerve in an unexpected direction and uneven tire wear.
But how will you know when it’s time to replace your brakes? If you’re noticing less responsiveness when you press the brake pedal, see an auto technician immediately. Other signs to watch out for include:
- A screeching, grinding or growling sound when brakes are applied
- The brake pedal sinks to the floor when pressed
- Brake pads are worn to less than ¼ inch (check behind the vehicle’s wheel spokes)
None of these issues should be ignored, as they all have a direct impact on your safety when driving. If you’re not sure there’s a problem, schedule an appointment with a trusted repair center to assess the situation.
Don’t Let the Damage Build Up
Knowing when to replace your brakes is a key factor that can help extend the life of your car and prevent potential accidents and liability. If you have experienced damage to your car because of faulty brakes, then Main Auto Body, Inc. offers expert repair services to get your vehicle back in shape. Visit one of our nine locations or contact us for more information.