How to Check Out Your Own Brakes to See How They Are Doing

One of the parts of your vehicle that you need to know how to take care of is your brakes. Just like you should know how to check your oil and the pressure of your tires, you also need to know how to check your brakes and make sure they are in good shape.

Pay Attention to How Your Brakes Sound

The sound that your brakes make is important. Your brakes are specifically designed to make sound as they start to wear down and near replacement. At first, the sound will be slight. You will hear the metal scraping when you brake. The sound may be slight at first and will increase over time. This sound is built into the structure of the brakes. If your brakes are making easily audible scraping noises when you push on your brakes, the metal is now exposed on your brakes.

Check Out the Brake Pad

You may not have the best view of the brake pad, but you can see your brake pads if you get down and look at your brakes through the wheels. This can be done on most vehicles. When you get down and look through your brake pads, look at how thick the brake pads are. If the brake pads have gotten to the point where they are only about an eighth of an inch thick, it is time to replace them. Some really nice brake pads even have a special slot that serves as a wear indicator. As the slot is worn away, that means you need to replace your brakes.

Check Out Your Tires

When you get down and check out your brake pads, look at your wheels as well. When you check out pads, look at the rims on your tires. If you see a thin layer of brake dust on the wheels, your brake pads are wearing down. Your brakes create less dust as your brakes wear down; once your brakes get down to the metal base, there isn't any material left to create dust with.

Pay Attention to How Your Brakes Feel

Finally, be sure to pay attention to how your brakes feel when you press on them. Do you feel a vibration in the brake pedal when you push on your brakes? Do you feel vibrations in your steering wheel when you press your brake pads? If you feel vibrations in either of these instances, that is a sign your brake pads have worn out.

You need to know the signs that your brake pads are ready to be replaced, just like you need to know how to change the oil and check your tire pressure. Knowing how to check the quality of your brake pads will help you keep your car in good shape. If you would like some assistance, there are free brake inspection services that should be able to help you.