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  • Just the Ticket team

Braking news: The most common car brake questions answered

Your braking system is one of the most important safety features of your vehicle – but how much do you actually know about your brakes?

Just like any other feature of your car, brakes need to be regularly maintained to make sure they are in a safe working order.

Your MOT or Service are great opportunities for qualified technicians to make sure this is the case. But in between those checks, it’s important for you to know a few facts about your brakes, the warning signs to look out for and what to do if you suspect there’s a problem.

To help put a stop to bad braking practices, we’ve answered the most common questions our Just the Ticket team gets asked.

1. How long do car brake pads last for?

This can vary. But according to the latest statistics, on average, your brake pads can last anywhere between 25,000 miles to 60,000 or more. But of course, this will depend on a number of factors.

This includes the likes of:

· How the vehicle is driven

· Your braking style

· How often you use the vehicle

· The vehicle’s weight

· The type of vehicle you drive

Brake pads work by causing friction when the brake pedal is pressed. So it’s no wonder they are prone to wear and tear over time. As a general rule of thumb, brake pads with a thickness of 3 millimetres or under should be changed.

2. How do I know if my brake pads or brake discs needs replacing?

Your brakes won’t stop working without some sort of warning signs. So, if you notice any of the below, stop driving and book in a check.

The usual warning signs include:

· A grinding noise – this could mean your brake pads are worn and are now grinding against your brake disc.

· Spongy or soft brakes

· If your handbrake doesn’t hold on a hill – it could need adjusting

· The brake warning light appears on your dashboard – don’t ignore this initial warning sign as many modern cars recognise brake pad wear.

· Veering to one side – this might be due to uneven pad wear.

· There is a vibration – these vibrations might occur through your steering wheel or on your brake pedal as you slow down.

3. How many miles can I do on my brake discs?

Generally speaking, brake discs don’t have to be changed as often as brake pads. They last around two to three times longer. However, the number of miles will be differ for motorway drivers to city drivers.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice we could give you is to make sure you catch your brake pads before they wear down and start grinding against your brake discs.

It will prove more expensive to change your brake discs than your brake pads. Not to mention how dangerous it is.

4. When does my brake fluid need changing?

Brake fluid is a vital part of any car braking system. It fills the brake lines and uses hydraulic pressure to activate the calipers when the brake pedal is pressed.

Most vehicle manufactures recommend that the brake fluid is changed every two years, regardless of the mileage. But here at Just the Ticket, we change it when needed.

Brake fluid needs to be changed when:

· The level of fluids are low

· It’s contaminated by moisture

· Your braking power is impeded

5. Why do you need to change brake fluid?

Like oil, brake fluid loses its effectiveness over time. Brake fluid can absorb moisture, which can lead to corrosion in your hydraulics system and other problems that make your brakes less effective. This can decrease your ability to stop whilst driving.

If changing your brake fluid is part of your Service, we charge £39.95 + VAT. But if it’s a stand-alone procedure, it costs £44.90 + VAT.

We’re here to put a stop to braking problems!

Like with most things, it’s easier to fix problems with your brakes the earlier you notice there is something wrong.

If you’re worried about your brakes, get in touch with our garage today on 020 8336 111. Or email us.

We offer a free visual inspection. T&Cs apply.

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