Tips for Spotting Brake Problems from Honest Car Dealer

Stay One Step Ahead of Brake Problems With the Honest Car Dealer

auto technicianOne of the most common service issues dealerships capitalize on, other than oil changes and regularly scheduled maintenance, are those relating to your vehicle’s brakes and braking system. Drivers tend to prematurely pre-empt brake issues out of fear, doubt, or even out of habit, costing them money that could otherwise be saved. Now, as your Honest Car Dealer, one can never be too protective when it comes to brakes; for all intents and purposes, the braking system is your automobile’s paramount safety feature, and no money spent maintaining it is wasted in my opinion. That said, I would like to educate my readers on the more subtle indicators — which you can test by yourself — that warrant examination by a technician at your local dealer.

Keep and Eye and a Foot on the Following Brake Behavior

First off, you need to consult your owner’s manual to see what type of brakes your vehicle employs, and if you have been meeting the manufacturer’s suggested timeline for any necessary replacements or inspection. This information is essential; if your vehicle is older or if you have misplaced your manual you can look one up online or contact your car’s OEM for a replacement.

Armed with that information, you can start to feel around for the usual problems. (Note your engine must be running for these tests if you have power brakes):

  • Keep consistent pressure on your brake pedal at any level. If it feels soft or sluggish to respond, you may have air in your brake lines.
  • Pump the brake pedal a few times. If doing this results in your car stopping when the pedal is further from the floor, your vehicle may have a faulty component or have low brake fluid, both if which necessitate a trip to the mechanic.
  • Take your car around the block and pay attention to your vehicle’s braking behavior. If the pedal grinds, pulsates, or creates a noise in the wheels when braking, these are all clear indicators your disc-brakes need to be tuned, repaired, or replaced. This also applies if your steering wheel vibrates when you brake. Mind your car’s position in braking situations as well: if it takes too long or too short to stop, or if it veers to one side or the other under normal conditions, you should interpret these as red-flags requiring maintenance.

Final Tip: Always Consult the Honest Car Dealer

I am here because I have an insider’s view on the way modern car dealerships work, but my only incentive is to make my knowledge and experience work for you — the casual motorist. Check out my constantly evolving blog for more hints and industry facts.

August 30, 2012 by Jamie Rettig