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If your vehicle’s radio or air-conditioner aren’t working properly, that’s an inconvenience. But if your brakes aren’t as reliable as they used to be, that’s serious business. With school back in session and fall and winter driving right around the corner. Now more than ever, your vehicle needs great brakes you can rely on for every stop.

One of the most interesting things about vehicle brake system is that a small peddle can stop a huge vehicle with a slight push of brake pad. How it all happens is still a mystery (friction not fiction) for many people. Being “out of sight, out of mind,” the braking system on most vehicles go unnoticed… until a problem crops up.

There are drum brakes, disc brakes, anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and hand or parking brakes, depending on the age of the vehicle that all may come into play when stopping your vehicle. Some use hydraulics, others a cable, and still others an on-board computer to assist and/or control how that all works.

Wearable items, such as break pads, are very difficult to predict a useful life. So much depends on how (fast or up/down hils) and where the car (city stop-n-go or highway trips) is driven and the make and model. If you need ball park figures, you might expect to get 30,000 to 45,000 miles from a set of brake pads.

So, what are the most common signs of brake failure?

  • Poor braking performance, hard to stop the car
  • Squealing or grinding noises during braking
  • Pulling to one side, or grabbing
  • Loss of brake pedal
  • Pulsation of the brake pedal during braking
  • Clicking noises during braking
  • Excessive drag during acceleration

If you hear or feel any of these symptoms, its definitely time to get them checked. Catching them in time you will save money. Procrastinate and you may suffer the financial (and emotional) consequences of an accident.


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