Three Reasons You Need A Professional Brake Inspection

You know that your brakes are an essential safety component in your vehicle. Free brake inspections, such as those offered by many full-service maintenance shops, can help you to understand the condition of your brakes and address problems before they become serious hazards. If you still aren't convinced, here are three reasons why you should make a professional inspection of your brakes a routine part of your vehicle's maintenance schedule.

Your Brakes Are More Than Just Your Pads

That squealing sound that tells you when it's time to change your brakes? It's produced by a tiny strip of metal embedded in your brake pads that only becomes exposed once enough friction material has worn away. Newer cars also use electronic wear sensors that trigger a warning light or message when the pad material has been sufficiently worn away. While these warning signs can alert you to an impending pad change, they do not provide any information about your other brake components, such as your rotors, brake lines, or calipers.

Most Brake Problems Start Small

Sudden brake failures on modern cars are rare. Most significant problems start small and grow worse over time, often with noticeable warning signs that go ignored by drivers. Professional brake technicians know to look for issues such as deteriorating flexible brake hoses or dirty brake fluid so that you can address before they impact your car's braking ability. In some cases, noticing problems early can even save you from more expensive repair bills in the future. Rotors that are badly worn or warped can wear your brake pads more quickly, for example, and replacing them will save you from making more frequent pad changes in the future.

You Might Not Notice A Subtle Loss Of Braking

Since many braking issues begin slowly, the signs may be too subtle to notice initially. Even worse, a progressive loss of braking power can be challenging to detect. While it's evident that something is wrong when your car refuses to stop after pressing the pedal, increased braking distance that gets worse over time may not be quite so apparent. Even if your car's brakes are entirely sufficient for normal driving conditions, that loss of stopping power can be dangerous in emergencies. A professional can evaluate your brakes for these subtle problems, even if you have not noticed them.

Professional brake inspections usually take less than an hour and are often offered for free or at a very minimal cost. Taking the time to inspect your brakes routinely is the best way to ensure that your vehicle remains safe under all conditions.