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Checking Brakes and Brake Fluid

By Levi Quinn



The brakes in your car have got to be the component that you rely on the most. Though you may not consciously think about it, you sure would if they suddenly didnít work. Donít forget about your brakes. They need maintenance as much as any other part of the vehicle does. Checking the brakes as well as the brake fluid is something that you should have written on your calendar along with things like oil change and transmission flush.

Start by checking to see if your brake fluid is topped up enough. Identify where the brake fluid reservoir is. It should be clearly labelled like everything else on your car. If you arenít sure you better check with your manual to confirm where the brake fluid can be found so you do not make a mistake and confuse it with something else.

The brake fluid reservoir should be clearly marked with minimum and maximum to indicate the proper levels. Some of these reservoirs are see through so you donít need to look inside. However, if not you will have to remove the cap to look in and see how high the fluid is. If the fluid is low then simply add more brake fluid until you reach the full line. But make sure it is brake fluid designed for your make and model of vehicle. If you really are not comfortable with doing this you can always have a professional do it. Some may even show you how.

You should take a good look at all of the components that make up your brake system. Look for any signs of obvious wear or damage. If there is anything youíre not sure about, take a photo or make notes so you can look it up or ask a mechanic if itís normal. Brake pads also need to be checked and replaced every so often. Check for signs of wear and have them serviced if you see any.

Pay attention to your brakes when you drive the car. Make note of any squeals you hear or anything abnormal you feel, like sticking. Donít put stuff like that off hoping it will get better. Some vehicles experience squealing brakes when they are cold or wet. However, if your brakes always make noise then it is time to see your dealer or mechanic.

If you do not know how often your brakes should be professionally serviced, check your user manual that came with the vehicle. Someone that is certified can change brake pads, fluid and anything else that you may not be able to do yourself. Your brakes are easily the hardest working part of your car and in some cases like bad weather, they work even harder. Though you can check brake fluid yourself, a professional should check the rest of the braking system at least once a year.

Checking the brakes over as well as the brake fluid is part of increasing the lifespan of your vehicle. Safety should always be your first concern when it comes to driving and car care.


About the Author:

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