There are many important systems that should be maintained on your vehicle, but it's the brakes that allow you to come to a rapid halt should you be caught in a perilous situation.
The brakes are quite literally, life savers.
Some motorists are put off at the thought of potentially spending too much money at a repair station and decide to attempt a brake job on their own.
While there are amateur mechanics skilled enough to complete the task properly, it's probably best to trust the safety and accuracy of such a critical system to the care of a trained professional with years of experience.
Do it yourself jobs don't always turn out to be less expensive and can potentially turn into very time consuming projects.
You may find that you need to purchase special tools, many of which can be expensive.
You may also discover that you have ordered the wrong parts, or that you have installed the parts incorrectly.
There are a number of factors that can end up costing you time and money if you aren't absolutely sure of how to do the job right.
Not only that, you are risking the safety of yourself and others if a brake job is performed incorrectly.
With many of the auto parts installed on your car or truck, you get very little warning if any before they fail.
The brake system on the other hand will definitely try to get your attention when one of the various components begins to wear out.
There are a number of symptoms that should alert you when it's time to have your brakes repaired or replaced.
For instance, you may experience a spongy feeling when you press on the brake pedal.
You may also find that the brake pedal travels all the way to the floor.
A squealing noise is usually heard when the brakes are worn out.
You may even feel your vehicle pulling to one side when the brakes are applied.
Any of these symptoms should alert you to the fact that it's time to have your brake system inspected and serviced.
There are two main types of braking systems for cars, trucks and buses known as friction systems, and hydraulic systems.
Both systems have their own specific sets of parts.
A friction brake system includes brake pads, brake shoes, brake discs, and brake drums.
If your auto is equipped with a hydraulic brake system, you will be dealing with brake calipers, wheel cylinders, brake master cylinders, vacuum servos, and regulators.
Brakes suffer from some of the worst wear and tear which is why it's so important to have them checked regularly.
There are several factors that dictate how long your brakes will last before a brake service is required.
You may find that your brakes wear out quicker if your brake usage is heavy or if you rack up a lot of miles on your vehicle during the year.
Another factor is city driving.
You will definitely use your brake a lot more if you are cruising around town, continuously stopping at traffic lights and stop signs.
Consistently driving in heavy stop and go traffic will also put a lot of extra wear and tear on your brake system.
The average set of brake pads will last approximately 30,000 miles, but this is subject to variation according to the conditions listed above.
Brake pads are fitted with a metal lining, and once the pads wear down to this lining, it is designed to give off an audible warning to let you know that it's time to schedule a brake repair.
With so much riding on your brake system, it's important to take the responsibility to make sure you are keeping yourself, and everyone else that shares the road with you safe.