August is a busy month – late summer adventures, back to school, National Panini Month, you get the picture. At Houska Automotive, though, we’re most interested in National Brake Safety Month. To celebrate this momentous August occasion, we thought we’d share with you five brake safety tips so that you can keep your car in prime condition.
1. Be Gradual When Braking in the Mountains
Mountain driving is a whole new ball game when it comes to proper braking. When traveling downhill, refrain from slamming on the brakes immediately before a sharp turn. Instead, gradually press down a long ways before the turn to maintain control of your vehicle and prevent an accident.
2. Know the Difference Between Manual and Automatic Braking
If you are driving a manual vehicle downhill, press on the brakes when shifting down to S or L to slow up, but do not continually brake to maintain your downhill speed. If you have an automatic transmission, use the “pulse” braking method; i.e. brake for about five seconds until you drop about five miles per hour below your intended speed, take your foot off the brake, and repeat.
3. Be Aware of Concerning Brake Noises
If you forget everything else from this post, the most important thing to remember is that brakes should be silent. Period. If you hear any sounds when you brake – such as screeching, grinding, scraping, vibrating or anything in between – that’s a bad sign. Bring your vehicle in to Houska immediately so we can replace the brake pads and check to see if other damage has occurred.
4. Check for Leaks Before Driving Your Vehicle
This is a good idea whether it’s National Brake Safety Month or not. Periodically checking for fluid leaks beneath your vehicle is one of the best ways to identify issues with brake fluid, oil, transmission, coolant, etc. If you notice leakage of any kind, bring it in to Houska so we can identify the problem.
5. Get a Full Brake Inspection Before a Road Trip
Last but certainly not least, do NOT embark on a road trip before getting your brakes professionally inspected. If long days of driving are in your future, it is always best to replace worn out brake pads and check the brake fluid ahead of time. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out that your brakes need to be repaired.
Our team is prepared to help you with all your brake maintenance needs! Stop by our location on Riverside Avenue to stay safe on the road.