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Stop and Check Your Brakes

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Brake Safety Awareness Month in August is the perfect time to have your brakes checked to make sure they are in safe working condition before summer ends and the school year starts, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need to be replaced. A vehicle’s braking system should be checked at least once a year and 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.

“When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list,” said Nathan Perrine, executive director, Car Care Council. “A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of driving conditions. Motorists can put a stop to any potential brake system problems by recognizing the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair.”

If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, they should be inspected. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.

Several factors affect brake wear including driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material. 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.

To help you learn more about auto care and brake repair, visit 

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 to view the popular 80-page Car Care Guide or sign up for the council’s free personalized service schedule and email reminder service.

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at 

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. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at 
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