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Put a stop to brake trouble before school starts

August 16, 2018 05:15 am

To the editor:

When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list. Brake Safety Awareness Month is the ideal time for drivers to stop and make sure their brakes are working properly before the new school year and colder temperatures arrive.

Motorists can put a stop to any potential brake problems by recognizing the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair. Typical warning signs include the car pulling to the left or right, noises when applying the brakes, an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing. Several factors that affect brake wear include driving habits, vehicle type, operating conditions and the quality of the brake lining material.

For routine maintenance, drivers should check their vehicle’s braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

Drivers should never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, such as letting the brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill.

Rich White

Executive Director

Car Care Council

Bethesda, MD