Holiday Brake Inspection Helps Identify Problems

Published on November 30, 2015 06:08 PM in Maintenance
Holiday Brake Inspection Helps Identify Problems

Worn brakes add another challenge to that stack of hazards known as winter driving. Many vehicle safety systems hinge on brake performance, which is why scheduling an inspection now means one less thing to worry about on slick roads and foggy mornings.

“Stability control, ABS and other electronic safety advancements rely on properly functioning brake pads, rotors and anything holding brake fluid,” said Joseph Henmueller, president and chief operations officer of the Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association. “If fundamental brake components don’t work as they should then none of that other electronic safety stuff will help.”

Brake inspections are vitally important to the safety of teenagers and college students. Not only are they inexperienced drivers, they often drive the least reliable car in the family, Henmueller said.

Holiday breaks provide an excellent opportunity to bring that young driver’s car in for a thorough brake evaluation.

“They are likely unaware, too busy studying or don’t have the time to do it themselves,” Henmueller said. “So it’s a good opportunity for them or their parents to take the car in for a professional inspection when they come back home.”

Henmueller offered the following suggestions for brake safety and inspections:

  • Schedule a brake inspection sometime between August and Thanksgiving to be ready for winter. Reliable brakes are always important, but they are vital when the weather is foul.
     
  • A thorough inspection will look for wear and tear, leaks and damage to the various components.
     
  • Where you live and how you drive directly affects the lifespan of your brakes. Stop-and-go city driving wears out brake pads much faster than freeway driving.
     
  • Always use replacement parts that meet or exceed manufacturer’s recommendations. Consult your service advisor to learn specifics.

“Don’t put off brake maintenance. Issues that could have been simple repairs will end up costing significantly more. That’s not even mentioning the safety risk of relying on worn brakes.”