How to Tell When it’s Time for New Brakes

At Montgomeryville Acura, we know that keeping brakes well-maintained is a crucial element of car maintenance. Going fast in a car is the fun part, but at some point you are inevitably going to have to slow down and stop. When that time comes, you have to know that pushing on the brake pedal will give you the result you want without any nasty surprises.

To ensure your vehicle will slow down or stop when you need it to, keep a close eye on your braking performance and pay attention to key warning signs that your braking elements are having issues. If you are noticing signs of failure, or brake issues, make sure to head down to the service department at Montgomeryville Acura for brake repair. In the meantime, here are some of the most common signs that tell Philadelphia, Lansdale and Doylestown residents that they need new brakes:

Regular Service Inspection

Your best tool for helping to avoid unexpected brake performance issues is to stick to your owner’s manual’s maintenance schedule. Consult your owner’s manual in the glovebox for the times or mileage levels at which you need to bring your vehicle in for an inspection, even if nothing appears to be wrong. The manual will also enlighten you as to the maintenance reminder indicators on your vehicle’s dashboard display.

Screeching Noises

The components of your brakes that will need to be replaced most often are the brake pads. These pads help the calipers grip the round rotors, slowing and eventually stopping tire rotation. Each caliper uses two pads, so total replacement will require eight pads in all.

Newer versions of brake pads can be recommended for use in your vehicle, have handy wear indicators. These early warning systems are quite simple, too. They consist of a piece of metal that gradually rotates closer towards the rotor as pads wear down. When the pads get low enough, the wear indicator will make contact with the rotors and begin singing the lovely song of “you need new brake pads.”

This scraping or high-pitched squealing noises are hard to miss, and it means that you should arrange for new brake pads as soon as possible to prevent unpredictable braking performance.

Other Possible Problems

Keep in mind that the wear indicators are not always 100 percent reliable. Pay attention to these other warning signs described below to prevent mistakes or scary incidents.

  • Decreased braking performance — Brakes that take longer than they normally do to slow down or stop vehicles could mean worn pads as well as other issues with rotors, calipers or braking fluid levels.
  • Shuddering brake pedal or steering wheel — Vibration in either the steering wheel or brake pedal is most commonly a result of worn pads, but severe shuddering could also mean issues with your rotors.
  • Less tension in brake pedal — A mild amount of “mushiness” in your car’s braking pedal will happen as your pads wear down, but problems getting your brakes to engage, or a very mushy pedal, likely means your brake fluid is dangerously low.

Acura owners in the Philadelphia, Lansdale and Doylestown areas should pay close attention to warning signs like these to keep their vehicles safe and braking as they should be. If you are nearing a scheduled maintenance service or you think your brakes are in need of some attention, head on over to Montgomeryville Acura’s service department page and schedule an appointment for as soon as you are available.

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