Have your brakes begun to squeak? It may time to get them checked out by an expert technician. While you should definitely get your brakes checked when they begin to show signs of being worn, you might be wondering how regularly you should have you brakes examined to prevent damage to your rotors. Here at Cooper Motor Company, we want to make sure that our customers are informed about the maintenance their vehicles need. Keep reading to discover how often you should have your brakes examined.

A Primer on Brakes.

In modern vehicles, you'll commonly encounter disc brakes. When you press on your brake pedal, a set of calipers, equipped with pads, squeezes a rotor (the disc). Brakes work because these pads create friction with the rotor, which slows your vehicle. It’s a hydraulic system that depends on a steady flow of brake fluid.

The whole system could quit operating if any one of those parts of your brakes isn't working correctly. However, the usual causes of bad braking performance are your brake pads, which should be a minimum of a quarter of an inch thick. These pads wear down over time and, if not replaced, can lead to more expensive problems, like a damaged rotor.

Location Matters.

In cases of lots of traffic, crowded roads are more unpleasant than others. Congested areas call for more stopping, starting, slowing and veering than normal. This means that your brakes might be working harder than usual. It also means they will likely need servicing before a vehicle used mainly in, say, a flat rural area.

It’s always a smart plan to have your brakes examined whenever you have your tires rotated -- generally every six months. If you happen to be a particularly aggressive driver, you may need to have them examined more regularly than that, such as with every oil change. It’s also crucial that you keep tabs on what your brakes might be attempting to tell you between your typical servicing intervals.

Warning Signs.

If the brake indicator light illuminates, then it’s time to have your brakes checked. Additionally, if you notice it’s taking longer than normal to come to a complete stop, you should have your brakes looked at as soon as possible. You might 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 equipped with a built-in indicator that’s made to squeal or screech when the pads are wearing thin. While the sound may be irritating, it could save you a lot of money down the road. That’s because if you replace your pads when you’re supposed to, you won’t have to hear that metal-on-metal sound. When you do notice that sound, it's because your pads have worn down totally 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.

Be Smart. Be Vigilant. Be Safe.

Here at Cooper Motor Company, we’re committed to providing our customers with more than just a wide selection of vehicles – we'd like to provide them with great service too. This dedication doesn’t just stop in our showroom. Ultimately, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones arrive safely to wherever you drive to, meaning you need to be able to count on your brakes. You can rely on your friends at Cooper Motor Company to take care of that for you.

If you think it’s time to get your brakes checked, contact us or stop by our dealership at 305 E Main St., Clinton, SC 29325. We look forward to serving our customers from Laurens and Fountain Inn.