August is Brake Safety Awareness Month

At Ralph Thayer Automotive, we’re happy to celebrate brake safety awareness month. It’s time to pay careful attention to one of the most important components of your car. When your auto brakes are effective, you can be assured of a safe and pleasant ride.

Your car will often let you know when it is time to have your brakes checked, you just have to learn to read the signs. Consider the following signs that your auto’s brakes may need service or repair.

Strange Noises

If your brakes make a squealing or grinding noise when you press on them, that is often a sign they are wearing down and require an adjustment or replacement. Grinding indicates that your brake pads are worn out and should be replaced.

Pulling

Does your car pull to one side when you apply the brakes? This may mean that your brakes aren’t adjusted correctly or that there is a brake fluid leak.

Spongy Pedal

If your brake pedal feels like it has extra give when you push on it, that is a sign there is air in your brake lines or that the brake fluid is low. This situation can create particularly dangerous driving conditions.

Brake Warning Lights

If your brakes or the car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) shows the warning light, that is a clear sign there is trouble with your brake system, such as low brake fluid. At Ralph Thayer Automotive, our technicians can determine the integrity of your brakes.

Vibrations

If your steering wheel jiggles when you drive, or the car shakes when you put on the brakes, this is an indication that you require brake service. The vibrations may mean that your brake’s rotors require replacement.

Prevent Brake Damage

In order to avoid having to take your car in for brake service earlier than necessary, there are a few things you can do to prevent premature damage to your braking system.

  • Avoid riding your brakes. Keeping your foot on the brake pedal for an extended period leads to overheating your brakes, and this can cause lasting damage.

  • Downshift. If you are in a situation where braking isn’t sufficient to ensure stopping, try downshifting. This causes the engine to do some of the braking for you.

  • Maintain your braking system. Your best line of defense against brake problems is to have your car serviced, including having your brakes cleaned.

At Ralph Thayer Automotive, we hope you have a secure brake safety awareness month. Come in today to ensure that your brakes are in tip top shape.