Just as summer comes to a close, it's the perfect time to pack the family up and head out on the open road. With the fall colors changing rapidly, you don't want to miss a single minute of it. Keep in mind that having your oil changed or getting an all-point inspection under the hood doesn't always hone in on brake issues. Making sure that you have your brakes thoroughly inspected before your trip can save you money and maybe even save your life. Here are some reasons why.
Additional Wear And Tear
When driving down new interstates or back country roads, your car's brakes will easily experience additional wear and tear. Potholes and suddenly changing from pavement to dirt roads can be hard on your vehicle's braking system. Having your brakes checked by an automotive specialist is important. He will check:
- Brake pads for proper pressure and thickness.
- Discs for warping and signs of excessive scratching.
- Brake lines for cracking and wear.
- All brake rotors and other brake components.
After a brake tech tests your brakes, he will let you know what type of repairs you'll need, if any, to make your vehicle safe for the open road.
Sudden Brake Failure
Another issue to be concerned about is when your brakes go out suddenly. This could be due to unforeseen objects damaging your brakes while driving or due to excessive corrosion. In most cases, brake failure builds up over time. It's time to get your brakes looked at if you notice any of the following:
- The brake warning light flashing on your screen
- Your car takes longer to stop than usual
- Brakes make a grinding or squealing noise when you apply
- Brake pedal feels spongy or goes all the way to the floor
If you have any of these existing warning signs, don't hesitate to get them addressed right away by a car care professional. In some cases, your brakes can fail without warning, so before venturing out, set up a brake check as soon as possible. This could prevent a car accident from happening.
Change In Terrain
A late summer, early fall road trip means that you may have to drive through rough, back roads to be able to see nature's beauty. Roads that are bumpy or washed away can wreak havoc on your vehicle's underbody, including your brakes. Rocky and uneven terrain can lead to brake line wear and tear. When traveling up and down steep declines, you need to make sure your brakes are working at their best capacity. If your brake lines were already corroded, a few bumps or exposure to jagged rock or mounds of gravel may cause them to break or leak fluid.
Don't Forget To Check Your Tires
If you can have your tires and brakes checked at the same time, you'll have a lower chance of breakdown or an accident while out on the open road. An uneven tire alignment or tires that are out of balance can also affect your brakes. Your tires may cause one side of your vehicle's brake pads to wear faster than the other. Having your tires rotated and balanced after changing worn out brake pads or shoes, can reduce your risk of breakdown or losing control of your vehicle.