Most people don't think too much about their brakes when they think about preventative maintenance on their vehicles, but the braking system is very important and should be maintained as well. Waiting until there's an issue with your brakes means you're already too late and could have other issues with your vehicle as well, including the need for new rotors and possibly new tires if they began to wear differently because of the way you are braking. There are a number of factors that can cause excess wear on your vehicle's braking system, including how often and hard you are braking, how much weight you are carrying in your vehicle and if you are driving often in snow, ice and rain. If you aren't sure what you brake maintenance you should be performing, read on for some information.
Checking Your Braking System
You need to be sure that you are checking your braking system. When you take your vehicle in for a tire rotation, you should ask that your vehicle's braking system is also inspected to be sure your brake pads, rotors and brake fluid is not in need of some attention. You may be able to tell when your brake pads have gotten too worn, as you may hear a squealing noise, or you may hear grinding, which would indicate that your brake pads are completely worn and you need rotors now.
Installing New Brakes
If you do notice your brake pads are worn, you shouldn't continue to drive in this condition. You should have your brake pads replaced, or if your rotors are worn, you need to have these replaced as well. Failing to do this could leave you unable to brake when necessary and you could end up in a vehicle accident. Driving this way is very dangerous to you and to others on the road as well.
Flush and Replace Brake Fluid
Your braking system uses brake fluid which helps to lubricate the moving parts and it prevents corrosion of these parts in your brake system. Your brake fluid should be flushed and replaced throughout your vehicle's lifetime. You should consult your vehicle's owner's manual to see when this should occur. If you are having any part of your braking system replaced, you should have the brake fluid inspected to see if it also needs to be changed. Not changing the brake fluid can result in your braking system not working as it should.
If you aren't performing preventative vehicle maintenance on your vehicle, your vehicle may not be running as it should, and could potentially be dangerous to have it out on the road. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop to have your brake system inspected. Read more here for more information.