How Can I Tell When I Need New Brakes On My Car?

Your car brakes is one feature that should always be in great working order. Here are a few tips when it might be time to replace your car brakes.

Inspect your brakes and listen for odd noises
You can check your brakes two different ways that are easy to do. You can do a visual inspection of your brakes by checking your brake pads through the spaces between the wheels or turn your wheels to the far left and look behind the wheel then do the same and turn the wheel to the right. The rule of thumb is if you have more than ¼ of an inch of pad left then you are fine. Anything less than ¼ inch and they should be replaced.

When driving your car and applying the brakes if you have ever heard a screeching sound that is high pitched then it is time to have your brakes inspected and or replaced. The sound from your brakes is a metal shim in the brake pad that is called an indicator. It is giving you an audible warning that it is time to have your brake pads replaced.

Your brakes do not respond like they used to
When you apply the brake pedal and it now is going all the way to the floor board this is a sign that there is a fluid leak or an air leak in the system. The best indicator of a fluid leak is to check around the wheels to see if you can spot brake fluid.

Your car pulls to the left or right
When you apply your brakes and the car want to pull to the left or right this is a sign that your brake pad linings are not wearing evenly. This could require a break adjustment or replacement of the brake pads.

Applying the brakes and there is a grinding noise
When putting on your brakes and you hear a grinding noise, it means you have worn down your brake pads to the metal and they are grinding on the drum or rotors. Your brakes are now beyond just replacing the pads and will need the rotors resurfaced. Sometimes the rotors can be past the point of just a resurface and will need to be replaced.

There is a vibration when I apply the brakes
When you put on your brakes and the car vibrates, this is an indication the rotors are warped. A warped rotor is caused by long periods of braking like when you are going down a steep grade or towing a trailer. This will heat up the rotors causing them to warp.

Most people will drive their car and overlook the fact that the brakes need to be checked and maintained. If you keep you brakes in good working order you will avoid expensive repairs down the road.

What Type Of Oil Should I Use In My Car?

Changing OilYour vehicle manual will specify the type of oil and weight you should be using. In today’s light trucks and passenger cars that have a gasoline engine the oil should meet the American petroleum rating or SH rating.

What type of viscosity oil should I be using? In today’s new cars the engine requires a multi viscosity oil such as a 5w-30 oil for every day driving. The 5w-30 engine oil has friction reducing additives that will give you better fuel economy and when your engine is cold it will allow the oil to reach the upper valve train components faster. In cars that are driven at highway speeds, hot weather or towing a heavy load you would want to use a 10w-40 or 10w-30 motor oil. A multi viscosity oil like 20w-40 would only be used in heavy load applications or always running at high RPMs. This weigh oil is not recommended for when your car is being operated in cold weather.

You also have straight weight oils such as 40w and 30w which are not too common anymore but there are those gear heads that insist it is a better oil to use. When the oil is thicker it will hold up in higher engine operating temperatures and will have a higher oil pressure, but the straight weigh oils are way too thick if you are going to be driving your car in cold weather climates. This is why the multi viscosity oils give you the best of both worlds, cold weather starting and high temperature protection. If you are looking for the best engine protection, performance and durability then you might want to take a look at the synthetic oils. This oil is much more costly since the synthetics are man made, but it will definitely improve the performance of your engine and your oil change intervals will be longer. When it comes time to change your oil, if you don’t want to change it yourself, you can find many mechanic shops online by searching for something such as Oil Change Miramar.