Believe it or not, the average American will keep their car for eleven years. This means that we are getting a new pair of wheels less often than in the past and keeping our vehicles longer.

Older cars mean we need to be more diligent about maintaining them. For example, you may be replacing brakes, rotating tires, and changing fluids more often than you used to.

But how often do these repairs need to be made? For example, what are the signs you need new brakes, and how important is it to get them changed?

Let’s take a look.

1. Grinding and Squeaking

As with many other things in life, listening a little can go a long way. Many brake pads come equipped with tiny ridges that can alert you when they have worn down. Once you begin to hear grinding, it’s best to bring your car in for new brakes right away.

While all brakes can squeak from time to time in poor weather conditions, brakes that squeal constantly are a sign you need repair. If you continue to drive with worn brake pads, you could have even more costly repairs on your hands. Damaged rotors, uneven tire wear, and a slower response time can all result.

Nothing is scarier than pumping your brakes only to discover that your car isn’t slowing down. If your car is telling you that it needs new brakes, make sure to get them repaired as soon as you can.

2. Vibrating

You may notice that your brake pedal shakes when you press it or feels unsteady. This often occurs due to warped rotors or poor vehicle alignment.

Your vibrating brakes may feel like what happens when your anti-lock brakes kick in at a panic stop. If you’re noticing this often, it’s time to bring your car in for service.

3. Pulling to One Side

Oftentimes, a vehicle’s brake pads won’t all wear at the same rate. Those on one side can thin out faster than the ones on the other.

If this is the case, you may notice your car pulling to the left or right when you apply pressure to the brakes. This problem can also put unnecessary stress on your steering rack.

4. Take a Look

Believe it or not, you can also check your brakes for visible signs of wear and tear. You can look between the spokes of your car’s wheels and see brake pads placed along with the rotors of the braking mechanism.

There should be at least a quarter-inch of brake pad present, and they should be in good condition. If you don’t see this, you probably need to visit the mechanic.

5. Lack of Responsiveness

One of the most obvious signs of needing new brakes is a lack of responsiveness. If your car is taking longer to slow down or feels “mushy,” don’t take any chances. Make sure you get your brakes serviced by a professional such as those at Sport Compact Warehouse.

Don’t stop getting smart about your auto and lifestyle now. For more great advice, read our blog today.

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