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Recognizing When It's Time To Replace Your Brakes

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Being able to drive a vehicle from one place to another can help you reduce your commute time, but a vehicle can quickly become dangerous if it is not properly maintained. Having the ability to bring your vehicle safely to a stop is critical when it comes to the safety of your commute.

Here are three signs that you can be watching for that will help you determine when it is time to replace your brakes in the future.

1. Check the thickness of your brake pads.

One of the easiest ways to determine if you need new brakes on your vehicle is to conduct a visual inspection of the brake pads. Your brake pads should be visible through the spaces between the spokes on your vehicle's rim.

Check your owner's manual to determine the manufacturer's recommended brake pad thickness, then measure your own brake pads. If the thickness doesn't meet minimum standards, you will need to replace your brake pads in order to ensure proper stopping capabilities as you drive your vehicle in the future.

2. Listen to your vehicle while stopping.

It's important that you occasionally turn down your radio or air conditioner as you drive so that you can listen to the noises being produced by your vehicle.

If you hear a loud whining or screeching sound when you press on your vehicle's brakes, this could be an indication that you need to install new brakes in order to preserve your vehicle's stopping capabilities. The whining or screeching sound you hear is produced by a metal shim that is designed to provide a warning that lets drivers know their brakes are worn.

3. Feel for pulling when applying the brakes.

A vehicle that has functional brakes will stop smoothly once the brake pedal has been applied. If you feel your vehicle pulling to one side when you press the brake, this could be an indication that your brakes are wearing unevenly.

Uneven wear on your brake pads or rotors could be a sign that your vehicle needs its tires rotated or that the vehicle has a performance issue within the drive train. Be sure to have a mechanic replace your brakes and examine your vehicle for other issues when you feel the vehicle begin to pull while braking.

Being able to recognize when it's time to replace the brakes on your vehicle will help you preserve the performance and safety of your vehicle as you drive down the road in the future. Check out websites like to learn more.