It sometimes can be easy to tell when there is an issue with the brake system. Other times, the brake system might have a sign of an issue that you might not notice. The braking system on most people’s cars goes unnoticed since it is out of sight, out of mind. That is, until a problem comes up, which is usually in the form of the proverbial grinding when you push the brake pedal. Sometimes the brakes will have become hardened from heat and are no longer effective at grabbing and stopping the rotation of the brake drum or rotor. This condition usually occurs after the brakes have been overused, either because of excessive panic stops or if you ride the brakes. With excessive overheating, it hardens the braking material, therefore making the brakes less effective. Another issue of the brake system is if there is a hot spot on the brake rotors. This hardens spots of metal caused by overheating of the brakes. They resist the natural wear of the friction material that must take place during the braking process, consequently loss of braking power takes place. The pads have nothing to grip. Noises from the brakes can indicate worn or glazed brake pads. The squealing noise comes from wear indicators, which come in contact with the brake rotor when the brake pads are worn to the point of needing replacement. If the vehicle starts to pull to one side when braking, it could mean a poor adjustment of the brakes, a frozen brake, brake fluid leakage, or a frozen emergency brake cables. Also make sure to be aware if your warning light illuminates on the dashboard. If the light starts to blink, make sure to turn it off when it is safe to do so. If the light illuminates and stays on, try to get home safely with it, then schedule an appointment so we can inspect it for you. By noticing an issue at the first sign, you can save time, money, and stress in the long run.
Fall is a great time to get your vehicle in for any maintenance that may need to be done. It is always important to go to regularly scheduled maintenances for your vehicle. This way you can help to ensure it is the most efficient working order that it can be in. If you are unsure of how often your vehicle should be brought in for inspections, we can help set up a schedule that works. One component of the vehicle that is commonly overlooked until it is needed is the lights. The lights on your vehicle can increase the visibility when you drive. This is especially important to have good visibility when you drive at night, when the range of vision is greatly reduced. The lights also help for other drivers to see where you are. The fluids of your vehicle should be checked regularly, especially before any long road trip you might take. The fluids should all be topped off to ensure your vehicle could work at an efficient level. One of the most important fluids to top off is the oil. The oil helps to power your vehicle by keeping the engine cool and lubricated. The washer fluid reservoir should be filled with wiper fluid that is better suited for the colder weather. The washer fluid helps to remove any dirt, bugs, road grime, or any other kind of debris from your windshield. Washing away debris and obstructions from the windshield can help to improve the visibility as you drive. The windshield wipers should also be inspected before the winter weather comes. It is recommended to replace the windshield wipers at least once a year. If you notice any cracks or tears in the wiper blades, they should be replaced as soon as possible. A blade in poor condition will not be able to clear way precipitation on the window effectively. If you notice any smudges or streak marks that the blades leave behind when they are in use, you should have the blades replaced before winter arrives. If you are unsure about the condition of the wiper blades, you can always bring your vehicle in and we can inspect them for you. The tires on your vehicle should also be inspected. The air pressure should be checked to ensure it is at the recommended amount. A tire that is underinflated has the risk of blowing out while you are traveling. Tires that are overinflated are more prone to picking up sharp objects that may be on the surface of the roads you travel on. Also inspect the tires for any cracks or puncture marks that might be on it. By having tires in good condition, you can help improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
To help ensure your vehicle is reliable and safe, be sure to inspect the battery on it. This is important because without the battery, your vehicle cannot go anywhere. It will not even be able to start. If you notice anything out of the norm with the battery or vehicle, it is best to bring it in as soon as you can. This can help to prevent an unexpected breakdown when you would least expect it. By going to regular maintenances we can also inspect the battery for you. This can alert you to if an issue is starting to form with it. If the battery goes dead completely, you will not be able to drive your vehicle to your destination. The age of the battery is also important. As they get older, the chance for the battery draining will increase. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can test the battery for you. This can help to know the exact condition it is in. One way to help improve the condition of the battery is to make sure it is clean. The battery should be inspected to ensure there is not any buildup of grime or debris on it. This can lead to a poor connection between the battery and the rest of the vehicle. Check the posts and terminals of the battery as well. This can help to ensure they are as clean as possible. If you notice that there is rust or corrosion on them, it may be time to have the battery replaced. If you notice any damage or issues with the battery, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. We can then inspect the battery for you. Another way to determine if the battery has an issue is by how your vehicle starts. If it becomes difficult to start, it could mean the battery is losing power. Poor starting could also be a sign of a bad alternator. If the vehicle does not start at all, a new battery may be needed. It is best to have a professional inspect it. We can then look at the battery and other parts to make sure they are efficient and effective. If one part starts to wear out, it can do damage to other nearby parts of the vehicle.