How Often Should My Brakes Be Checked? | Lansing MI | Serving Williamston & DeWitt

At Spartan Toyota, we're committed to providing our customers with more than a great selection of vehicles -- we aim to provide them with impeccable service, as well. That commitment goes beyond our showroom to include our service department. Ultimately, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones arrive safely to every destination. That means your brakes need to be in good shape. You can count on your friends at Spartan Toyota to take care of that for you.

Is It Time to Check Your Brakes?

Are you a brake expert? If not, you might not know exactly how often you need to have your brakes checked. To avoid a bad situation, it’s always best to take the advice of a technician that you trust as to when to get your brakes checked. Here at Spartan Toyota, we’d love to help you stay informed about how you can stay safe on the road. Keep reading to find out how often you should have your brakes checked.

A Primer on Brakes.

Brakes located in modern vehicles are most commonly disc brakes. When you press your 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 depends on a fixed flow of brake fluid.

If a single part isn't working properly, the entire system can 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 a damaged rotor.

Location Matters.

Crowded areas are worse than others when it comes to traffic. Congested roads require a lot of stopping, starting, slowing and veering. That means your brakes have their work cut out for them. It also means your brakes will likely need servicing sooner than a vehicle used mainly in, say, 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 an especially aggressive driver, you might want to have them checked more frequently than that, such as with every oil change. It’s also important that you pay attention to what your brakes might be trying to tell you between your regular servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If your brake light comes on, then it’s time to have your brakes looked at. Additionally, if you notice it’s taking longer to come to a complete a stop, you should have your brakes 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 supplied with a built-in indicator that’s made to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing thin. While the sound might be irritating, it can save you a chunk of change 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 sound, 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 turn an inexpensive fix into an expensive one.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by 5701 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48911. We look forward to serving our customers from Lansing, MI, and throughout Williamston and DeWitt.