(NAPSI)—If you’re like most motorists, you’re concerned about safety. In fact, research shows that vehicle safety is a top motivator for most motorists when it comes to vehicle maintenance and the brake system is at the top of the vehicle safety checklist.
“Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced for both performance and safety reasons,” explained Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of conditions. However, many motorists are unaware of the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair.”
What To Look For
It’s important to be alert and recognize the warning signs of brake trouble. If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your brakes. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.
What To Do
For routine maintenance, check your vehicle’s braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test-drive to detect other potential brake system problems.
What Not To Do
Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material.
“Never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the ‘metal-to-metal’ point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill,” White added. “If you haven’t checked your brakes in the past year, it’s a great time to ‘give your car a brake’ and make sure it’s in safe working condition.”
The Car Care Council’s “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promotes the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.
Where To Learn More
For a “Car Care Guide” or more information, visit www.carcare.org.