When Should You Get Your Brakes Checked? 

When you travel as much as I do, and take as many road trips I take with my family, having safe and reliable brakes is a big deal. I know that there are certain things that I can listen for and pay attention to know if my car needs new brakes. These are signs that tell me if the brake pads are getting low or if there is something that is just wrong with the brake system in general. 

Squeaking or Grinding sounds: If you have ever driven down the road and heard that ear piercing squeal and wondered if that was your car making that noise, that is the sound of brakes. As the brake pads get low, the calibers rub and it means it is time to get new brakes.   

Pulsating: Have ever been in an emergency situation where you needed to slam on the brakes quickly, and felt that slipping and vibrating as the brakes catch. When that feeling starts happening often and it is not because of those kinds of situations, it means that there is a problem with the brakes. 

Pressed Brake Petal: Having to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor is another indication that there is an issue with the brakes. This usually means that the brake pads are just about gone. If you hear a grinding sound when this is happening, it means that the pads are gone completely and you are now damaging your rotors. Besides being dangerous, this makes for a costly repair. 

Touchy Breaks: If the opposite is happening, where your brakes are very sensitive and become touchy, making you stop harder than you mean to, this is also a problem with your braking system. It could mean a problem with the pads, but usually means a problem with the hydraulic lines, the brake fluid is contaminated or that there is air in the lines. Make sure to get the brakes checked immediately. 

If for any reason you suspect that something is not working correctly with your brakes, get them checked immediately. Not taking care of them is a very costly, dangerous problem.

About the Author: Debi G, a travel obsessed mom to four kids, is the owner and author of the blog Eat Sleep Travel Repeat (http://eatsleeptravelrepeat.com). Check out her blog for some great articles!  

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