How Often Should You Have Your Brakes Checked?

Is It Time to Check Your Brakes?

One of the most crucial elements of your vehicle is your brakes. So often, they're the only thing that come between you and an accident, and we all know that servicing them is important. But just how often should you get your brakes checked? Learn more about the answer to this question below, as well as how brakes function in general.

A Primer on Brakes.

Most 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 of those components don't function properly, the entire system could fail. The usual culprits of poor braking performance, however, are your brake pads. They should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. The pads wear down over time and, if not changed, can lead to more expensive problems, like rotor damage.

Location Matters.

Crowded areas are harder on your brakes than others because of traffic. Congested roads require a lot of stopping, starting, slowing and veering, which can put stress on your brakes. That means they'll likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used mainly in, for example, a flat rural area.

Keeping that in mind, it’s always a good idea to have your brakes checked whenever you have your tires rotated—typically every six months. If you’re a more aggressive driver, you might even 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 your routine servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If your brake light comes on, then it’s time to get your brakes looked at. And 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 point to an alignment problem.

Many brakes are equipped 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 lot 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, it's because your pads have worn down completely and your calipers are now grinding against your rotors whenever you press your brake pedal. It can quickly turn an inexpensive fix into an expensive one.

Be Smart. Be Vigilant. Be Safe.

At DeLand Kia, we're committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles—we strive to provide them with impeccable service as well. That commitment goes beyond our showroom to include our service bays. Our goal is to ensure that you and your loved ones arrive safely wherever you drive to. That means your brakes need to be in good shape. You can count on your friends at DeLand Kia to take care of that for you.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by DeLand Kia at 2322 S. Woodland Blvd, DeLand, FL 32720 for service. We look forward to serving our customers from Deltona, Daytona and Orlando!