Your brakes are one of the most important components on your vehicle. It is important to be sure that they are working properly and to check them on a regular basis. How do you know if they are failing before they wear down enough to make noise? You simply step on the pedal and see how it feels. Sounds easy enough, but how do you know what the feeling is or what it means? Continue reading to learn about what you could feel from your brakes and what the feeling is telling you.

Testing Your Brakes While the Vehicle is Stopped

Being by starting your vehicle. Be sure to leave the vehicle in park and keep the parking brake on so you can test the brake pedal safely. If you have a vehicle that doesn't have power brakes, you can leave the engine off and test the pedals the same way.

Step on the pedal and apply steady pressure. If the pedal feels spongy, the brake lines could have air in them. This is not a major fix and is something that you could even take care of yourself. Also notice if the pedal is firm or if it slowly drops towards the floor. If it moves towards the floor, the master cylinder could need to be replaced and should be looked at right away.

Testing Your Brakes While the Vehicle is Moving

Go ahead and release the parking brake and put the car in drive. Drive around your neighborhood or somewhere that is not busy so you can pay attention to the feedback you get from your brakes. Apply the brake randomly throughout your drive several times.

Pay attention to how much pressure you apply to the pedal in order to get your vehicle to stop. You shouldn't have to press the pedal to the floor to get the car to stop.

Also notice what happens with your vehicle when you apply the brakes. If it pulls to one side when you push the brake pedal, your brake fluid may be leaking or a caliper could be stuck. If you notice your steering wheel shaking and your vehicle has disc brakes, the front brakes must be replaced. Maybe your vehicle bounces a little when you stop. If so, your shock absorbers are probably bad.

Your brakes are crucial to your safety and the safety of others, so it is important to check them with professionals, such as Performance Automotive, routinely with the car parked and while driving around. As you can see, they can also help you troubleshoot other problems that your vehicle may be having as well. 

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