Stop! It's one of those things your vehicle has to do consistently and reliably. That's why brake maintenance is vitally important, worthwhile for you to make sure stays up to date.
A brake system has many components. If your vehicle has disc brakes, they have pads that make contact with the rotors (the metal discs). Those pads usually have a metal back, and the part that presses against the discs is made of a material which provides friction to stop the vehicle. Because of that friction, the pads are expected to wear down and eventually the rotors will, too. But the pads usually are the part that will need to be replaced more often. But how do you know when it's time?
There are several signs, one of which is when your brakes squeak or make a high-pitched sound when you step on the brake pedal. Many newer vehicles also have sensors on the brake pads. When the pads get worn down to a certain point, the sensor will tell the vehicle's computer to turn on a light on the instrument panel. When that light comes on, it's time to have your service facility check out what's going on. If you don't know what that light looks like, ask your service advisor or look it up in the owner's manual.
Some vehicles also give you a reminder based on the distance you've traveled. It may be a message that displays on the dash or a light that illuminates.
Your best bet is to have your vehicle regularly serviced at one shop you trust. They will keep a record of your brake maintenance Then, when you take your vehicle in for oil changes or other routine things, they'll check your brakes for wear. Sometimes you'll only need pads, but you may also need rotors or other parts replaced. Oh, and you need pads replaced in pairs. That way stopping power will be equal on both sides and your vehicle won't pull in one direction.
Brakes make up a key part of your vehicle's safety systems. Keep them in good shape and they'll be able to stop your vehicle when you press down that pedal.
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