Making sure that your car is in great condition at all times is extremely important. The more you think about it, the more you realize just how critical it is for your car to be running properly. One belt loose in the engine could mean that while driving on the freeway you lose control of both your brakes and your steering.
The scene turns frightfully grim as this could easily result in the injury or death of you and everyone around you. As bleak and mournful as that sounds, it’s the truth, so keeping your car in good shape should be high on your priority list.
One item that people always seem confused about replacing is their brakes. Changing your oil is easy enough because you know you’re supposed to change it out every three to six months, but knowing when to change your brakes depends on how often you use them.
This also depends on where you live as some locations tend to have a lot of stop and go traffic, especially Southern California cities such as San Diego. Living down in this area, one should expect to be in traffic on a fairly consistent basis, leading to more wear and tear on your brake system. For that reason, here are some great reasons for you to schedule an appointment at a shop for brake repair and auto repair in San Diego.
- Inspecting Your Brakes – It would be obsessive to do it every time you drive, but every once in a while you should make a visual check of your brakes. If they seem to be less than a quarter of an inch thick, then you definitely need to think about getting new brakes. Most brake pads should be at least ¼ of an inch, so anything lower than that and you are starting to wear thin.
- Listen While You Drive – When your brakes get too low, a small piece of metal called an indicator begins to scrape, making a high-pitched screeching noise. It makes the noise when you apply the brakes, letting you know that your brakes are wearing thin. You can usually hear it even when your windows are up, but if you listen to a loud radio, you may not be able to. Every once in a while, turn down the radio and listen for the warning signs.
- Is Your Car Drifting? – Another thing to notice while driving is whether your car seems to continue in a straight line. If it’s pulling to the left or the right when you apply the brakes, then it means that your brake pads are uneven, causing one side to brake less than the other. Although this doesn’t spell disaster, it can be annoying and potentially hazardous should anyone forget about it when they slam the brakes. Either way, to be on the safe side it’s often a good idea to have them checked out just in case.
So if you notice any of the signs that have been described above, then it could be time to have your brakes replaced. Although it may be annoying to go to the shop just for that, it beats the alternative of losing your brakes on the road.
Erick D. Smith lives in San Diego, California and blogs about cars.