Similar to gas mileage, the wear and tear on your brakes will vary depending on where and how you drive. And determining just how long they’ll last depends on several factors. Here are a few common signs that indicate when your brakes might need replacement:
When your sensors send you an alert.
All cars have a brake warning light that comes on for a few seconds every time you start your car. If it comes on while driving, that typically means your brake system is low on fluid, which can be caused by a leak or a problem with the brake master cylinder.
Some cars also have built-in wear sensors that will scrape against a brake disc when the linings needed replacing. The driver will typically hear a screeching sound when they apply the brakes, or when they release the brakes in certain vehicles.
Not every vehicle is equipped with these, so drivers should listen for other unusual, prominent noises such as squealing or grinding, that can indicate wear. Drivers should also beware of pulsing or vibrating in the brake pedal, longer stopping distances, or more give to the pedal as you press it, can be signs of significant wear.
When your technician spots a problem.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut formula or schedule to follow when it comes to replacement so getting the advice of your regular technician is the most reliable way to figure out the lifespan of your brakes. Most vehicles should have their tires rotated at least every six months, which is a great time to have the brakes checked out. A mechanic can check the thickness of the pads and the condition of the brake hardware to spot wear.
A good mechanic will tell you how urgent the problem is and, if you’re keeping up on your scheduled maintenance they’ll usually spot it well in advance so you have time to save up for the repair.
Watch your driving habits… especially in the city.
Where you drive makes a big difference when it comes to wear and tear on your brakes. You use your brakes a lot more in urban driving that in rural areas or on highways. So, if you drive in a crowded city like Boston or New York, your brakes tend to wear faster than if you drive on rural highways in Vermont or New Hampshire.
At V&F, our certified mechanics use latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.