Now that winter will be arriving soon, you should take as many steps as you can to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive through the winter weather. While there are many car components that should be checked for safety before winter arrives, one important vehicle system to service before you begin driving on snow and ice is your brake system.
Unless you notice any obvious brake problems that warrant the need for immediate brake repair, there are two main brake maintenance services you should obtain from a trusted auto mechanic before the cold, snowy weather arrives.
1. Brake Cleaning & Lubrication
You should ideally obtain a brake inspection service that includes brake cleaning and lubrication about once every 4-6 months or 5,000 to 7,000 miles. During this service, your mechanic will inspect all brake components as instructed by the automobile manufacturer's guidelines.
This inspection typically begins with measuring the brake pads on disc brakes to ensure they are still thick enough to perform their jobs properly. If your back two brakes are drum brakes instead of disc brakes, as they often are, the shoes of the drum brakes will instead be measured.
Then, disc brake guide pins and caliper brackets are well-lubricated to keep them moving smoothly and brake rotors are cleaned to keep brakes operating quietly, as they should. Drum brakes are also cleaned and lubricated during this service, and any required brake adjustments are made to keep drum brakes operating properly.
2. Brake Pad Replacement
If, during your brake inspection, your mechanic notes that your brake pads are thinning and likely need a replacement, or you notice the signs of worn brake pads while driving, then you should replace these pads to ensure you can brake properly all winter long.
While some auto experts recommend that drivers replace their vehicle brake pads after driving a specific number of miles, others recommend forgetting about the mileage driven when deciding when to replace them; you place wear-and-tear on your brake pads every time you use your brakes, so more wear-and-tear is naturally placed on pads after driving a specific number of miles in stop-and-go traffic than it is when driving the same number of miles on the highway.
Instead, check for signs that your brake pads need to be replaced, such as squealing or grinding noises that occur when braking, less responsive brakes, and/or a special light on your dashboard that can appear if you have brake pad sensors that have detected worn pads in need of replacement.
Now that winter is on its way, you should perform necessary vehicle maintenance to ensure your automobile is ready to tackle the winter roads as safely as possible. Obtain these two brake services to help ensure you can brake properly when needed on snow and ice-covered roads.