Even a very minor issue should warrant a brake check. If you experience any problems such as a “spongy” brake pedal, a pull to one side or a squeaking noise when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your car’s braking system more closely. This guide will tell you how to do a simple brake check, by telling you what to look for.
Checking Your Brake Fluid Level
Perhaps the simplest part of a brake check is to gauge the fluid level. In your brake fluid reservoir, there should be (depending on your vehicle) a “minimum” and “maximum” marking, or something similar. The container should be free of leaks, and if your fluid is lower than it should be, it may be a sign that you have a fluid leak or your brake pads are worn.
Looking at Your Brake Pads and Discs
The next thing you need to do is to look at the biggest part of your braking system- the pads and rotors. In many cases, you can do this without taking the tire off (for example, if you have rims with cutouts). It’s important to check your brake pads for signs of wear, such as excessive dust. You should check your discs as well. They should be evenly worn, with no large grooves or rough patches. If these are found, you should replace the discs in pairs as this will allow your car to drive without “pulling”.
These are only a couple of things that you can do to keep your car’s brakes in top shape. If you’d like more information, there are plenty of good resources online, or you can consult a repair manual specific to your car’s make and model. Taking good care of your brakes will keep little problems from becoming big ones, and will save you money.