How Often Should You Have Your Brake System Inspected in USA? 

Regular inspection of your brakes is necessary to ensure that your car can stop immediately in case of an emergency to minimize the risk of accidents. The brakes are a vehicle’s most important safety feature and are designed to keep you and everyone else on the road safe. 

The whole braking system of a car involves a range of complex parts that need to be checked and replaced after some time. Every driver doesn’t know when it’s the right time to get their braking system inspected, so it’s recommended to get it checked by a reputed auto repair shop  after every oil change. 

How Can You Test Your Brakes? 

Mechanics use different methods of testing the brakes. It’s better to visit an expert if you think that something might be off with your brakes. However, if you want to test the brakes on your own, then these are some simple tests that you can do on your own. 

Road Test

A road test will allow the driver to observe the problems with the brake system. It allows you to experience the feel, smells, or awkward sounds during braking. Look if the brake lights are turned on on the cluster board every time you press the brakes. 

Visual Inspection

For visually inspecting the brakes, the mechanic will usually pop the vehicle’s hood and check the engine area. They will inspect the master cylinder, brake wires, power boosters, and a combination of valves to look for any damage. 

Brake Pedal Inspection 

The brake pedal is inspected to look for some crucial things that include brake pedal height, pedal free play, and pedal’s reverse distance. 

Brake Fluid Analysis 

To test the brake fluid, the mechanic will put a test strip into the brake fluid to check if it’s in good condition and uncontaminated with any other elements. 

A common problem is with the level of the brake fluid; it can be low and needs refilling. The proper level of brake fluid is important as it exerts forces to compress the brake pads. Changing the brake fluid at least two times a year is essential. 

Signs You Should Get a Brake Inspection

These are some common signs that you should look out for. If you notice any of these signs, then you should get your brakes inspected. 

Dashboard Warning Lights

The presence of brake lights, ABS, or engine lights on the cluster board indicates that there is an underlying problem with the braking system. 

There could be a range of reasons why there is a brake warning sign on your dashboard. Your brake fluids might be low, the brake pads might be worn out, or the ABS system might be malfunctioned. 

Brake Fluid is Leaking

If your brake fluid is leaking, then you should immediately get your braking system inspected. If you see some fluid on the floor where your car is parked, then it’s possible that your engine oil or brake oil might be leaking. 

Brake Response Time

If your car is taking longer than usual to stop after you press the brake pedal, or you need to press the pedal further than you did before and exert more pressure on the brakes, then your braking system needs inspection. 

Car Vibrates When Braking 

See if your vehicle vibrates or shakes vigorously when you hit the brakes; then, it could be a sign that your rotors are out of balance. Moreover, if the brake pedals are filled with debris, then your vehicle might shake when braking. 

Hard Brakes

Mostly, the brakes become stiff because of an underlying problem with the brake booster. The brake boosters maximize the force applied to your brake pedal. 

In some cases, a tear develops on the diaphragm on the booster, or the valve may break, due to which the brake booster no longer creates a vacuum and fails to supply power to the master cylinder. 

Another cause of hard brakes is seized brake calipers. The job of brake calipers is to push your brake pads against the rotor when you stop your vehicle. 

If the brake calipers or the connected screws become stuck, then the brake pads are not engaged properly. 

Car Pulling to One Side

If your car drifts to one side when you hit the brakes, then it’s a sign that there might be a problem with the brake calipers or with the wheel cylinders. 

A brake that is sticking causes the vehicle to pull to one side. In addition, you may also notice a burning smell while driving due to the brakes becoming extra hot. 

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