Before you hit the road for a late summer road trip, make sure to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment for your car, which will include getting your brakes checked. Long road trips put extra wear and tear on your brakes, especially if you are going somewhere with mountains and elevations.

The bottom line is brake pads wear out and need to be replaced. Some signs your brakes need to be checked include:

  • They make a grinding or squeaking noise
  • The ABS failure dashboard light turns on
  • The brake pedal is easily pushed to the floor
  • The brake pedal shakes when you press down on it
  • It takes more effort to turn the steering wheel
  • There is a burning rubber smell when you brake
  • Your car is leaking brake fluid
  • There is an increase in stopping distance or time
  • The vehicle pulls to the left or right when breaking, which is a sign of uneven brake pad wearing

What to do if your brakes fail:

  • Steer toward safety, which will typically be the side of the highway or a side street. Use your blinker and warning lights to signal to other drivers you are trying to pull over.
  • If you have ABS brakes, apply steady and firm pressure to the brake pedal.
  • If you don’t have ABS brakes, pump the brake pedal rapidly to build up pressure.
  • If your brakes won’t respond, shift the transmission into neutral.
  • Find an escape route away from traffic.
  • After your car has stopped, turn off ignition, turn on your flashers and call for a tow truck.

If any of the signs of worn brake pads apply to your vehicle, get them replaced soon. Contact Superior Auto Center for an appointment.