Brakes are probably the most important part of a car. Without them, driving is impossible. You have to be able to slow and stop whenever you need to on the road. This ensures you’ll get to your destination safely. Your brakes have to function correctly, which means they need to be in good condition and stay in good condition. But how often should you have them serviced?

What Actually Needs Service?

Brakes

Before we get into how often you brakes need maintenance, we need to think about what the brakes actually are. When we refer to brakes, what we’re really talking about is the braking system of your car. Your vehicle doesn’t just have a couple brake pads on it. There is a whole slew of components and parts that make up the brake system that brings your car to a halt. These experience all kinds of forces while you’re out on the road, and eventually certain parts of the braking system need to be repaired.

While some things may not need regular maintenance, most components of the brake system require regular service. Brake pads and shoes need to be replaced over time, brake rotors don’t last forever, and brake calipers wear out, too. Even brake fluid goes bad after an extended period of time.

When Should You Have Service Done?

brake service

There is no set time limit to when you need to have your brakes serviced because you can’t accurately determine that. Everyone drives different distances and has different routes and stresses on their car. What you can do is keep track of your mileage and work with that.

For example, brake pads, shoes, and rotors should be inspected somewhere between 20,000 and 60,000 miles depending on the pads and the type of driving you do. Check your car’s owner’s manual for a specific number. Brake calipers should be replaced only when needed. Have a mechanic look them over when you have your pads and rotors done. Brake fluid can also be replaced when the pads and rotors are serviced, but you should also have brake fluid regularly checked by a mechanic.

If You Notice Any Issue, Take Your Car In Before Something Happens

Brakes

Brake issues are not to be taken lightly. Don’t tell yourself it can go another week or two if you notice any issues with your brakes. Take it in. If you’re wrong, the worst thing that can happen is your mechanic tells you everything is fine. If on the other hand, something actually is wrong and you don’t take it in, you could experience an accident and harm yourself or others.

Common issues include squeaking or squealing of the brakes, a mushy brake pedal, or any weird vibrations when braking. If you notice anything like this, get to a service station soon, even if it’s between regular brake maintenance intervals and talk with the mechanic there to find out what’s wrong.