How Often Should My Brakes Be Checked? | Vestal NY | Near Binghamton, Elmira & Ithaca

When it comes to getting your vehicle serviced, it's easy to understand why having your engine or transmission inspected would be important. However, it's also crucial to have your brakes examined. This component to your vehicle helps keep you and other drivers safe, so keep reading to find out just how often they should be examined.

A Primer on Brakes.

The majority of brakes in today's vehicles are disc brakes. When you press the brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). The pads create friction with the rotor to slow your vehicle. It’s a hydraulic system that relies on a steady flow of brake fluid.

If any one of these components aren't functioning properly, the entire system can fail. The usual culprit of poor braking performance, however, is the brake pads. They should never be less than a quarter of an inch thick. The pads wear down over time and, if not changed, can lead to more expensive problems, like a damaged rotor.

Location Matters.

Crowded areas have heavier traffic than others. Congested roads and highways require a lot of stopping, starting, slowing and veering, meaning your brakes have their work cut out for them. It also means they'll likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used primarily in a flat rural area, for example.

Keeping this in mind, it’s best to have your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated -- typically every six months. If you’re an especially aggressive driver, you might want to have them checked more often than that, like with every oil change. It’s also important that you pay attention to what your brakes might be trying to tell you between regular servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If the brake light comes on, then it’s time to have them examined. Additionally, if you notice it’s taking longer to come to a full stop, you should have them looked at as soon as possible. You may also notice a vibrating sensation when applying your brakes. That generally indicates a brake pad issue, though it could also indicate an alignment problem.

Many brakes come with a built-in indicator that’s designed to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing down. While the sound may be annoying, it can save you a great deal of money down the road. That’s because if you change your pads when you’re supposed to, you won’t have to hear that metal-on-metal sound. When you do hear that noise, it's because your pads have worn down completely, and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors when you press your brake pedal. It can turn an inexpensive repair into an expensive one.

Be Smart. Be Vigilant. Be Safe.

At Serafini Nissan, we're committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles -- we seek to provide them with high-quality service, as well. That commitment goes beyond our showroom to include our service bays. Ultimately, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones arrive safely to wherever you're headed. That means your brakes need to be in good shape. You can count on your friends at Serafini Nissan to take care of that for you.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes examined, contact us or stop by Serafini Nissan at 3101 Vestal Parkway E, Vestal, NY 13850. We look forward to serving our customers from Binghamton, Elmira and Ithaca.