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Maintaining your brakes is an essential part of owning a car. When your brakes are worn, your vehicle’s stopping power and performance can be diminished when you need it. Keep reading to learn the signs that it’s time to get your brakes serviced.

When Is Brake Replacement Necessary?

Getting the brakes replaced on your car, truck, or SUV depends on several factors. As your driving style, the materials used to make your current brake pads, and whether you tow or haul large loads or drive up and down steep hills, your brake pads could wear at a faster or slower rate than normal. But brakes can last anywhere from 35,000 to 60,000 miles.

As with any vehicle maintenance, it’s best to consult the owner’s manual for service schedule recommendations by the vehicle manufacturer.

What Are the Signs That the Brakes Need Replacement?

You drive your car every day and can tell when something is amiss. Usually, the biggest sign that your brakes are due for replacement is the sound they make when you press on the pedal. Some cars have built-in wear sensors that scrape against the brake disc when the pads need to be replaced, so if you notice a groaning, screeching, squealing, or a grinding sound, it’s time to get the brakes inspected.

If you notice your vehicle takes longer to come to a stop or the brake pedal almost reaches the floor before the brakes engage, the pads are worn and need to be replaced. When you apply the brakes, does your car pull to 1 side? If so, you may have 1 worn or a deficient front pad.

You may also experience pulsing or vibrating on the pedal or steering wheel as you brake, which can be a sign of a worn or a warped disc. If your vehicle has an antilock braking system (ABS), feeling vibrations when braking hard is normal.

Brake Maintenance Tips

It’s good practice to get your tires rotated every 6 months, at which time you can ask your service technician to inspect the brake pads and calipers or drums for wear. With the wheels off the car, your technician can easily view and assess your brake conditions.

If you notice your brake pedals having a spongy feel, it could be caused by air or other gas in the brake line. By bleeding the brake lines and adding in new brake fluid, you’ll enjoy greater braking performance each time you press the pedal.

Get Your Brakes Done Right

If you need the brakes maintained or replaced on your vehicle, schedule an appointment with the service center at one of our Schumacher Auto Group locations.