Spotlight on Annual Brake Checkup


If you are on a tight budget or simply prone to procrastination, you may find yourself delaying your appointments with your auto shop. It might seem harmless enough, but it’s actually a big mistake. Poorly maintained vehicles can cause thousands of wrecks each year. The bill for accidents resulting from such vehicles tops $2 billion a year, according to the Car Care Council, an advocacy group.
Even if you are lucky enough to avoid an accident, putting off maintenance is likely to reduce your car’s lifespan by as much as a quarter. So next time you postpone your date with your auto mechanic, remember you may be setting yourself up for some hefty repair bills for bad brakes, failed emissions tests and maybe even a failed engine. The following is a spotlight on a common maintenance requirement for your vehicle and the costly problems that can result:

Brake Check-up
Inevitably, brake disc pads and shoes wear down. Checking your brakes annually lets you know when it’s time to replace them. Neglecting regular brake work, on the other hand, can eventually lead to more costly rotor or drum replacements.

Ignoring brakes translates into wearing down your discs. If the pads get worn down to metal, you can gouge your rotors. What would have been a $150 brake job (to replace discs) could easily turn into a $300 brake job to replace rotors. Brake inspections can also help a technician identify a problem that might not involve brake disc pads, such as a lack of brake fluid or a leak in the master cylinder. Bottom line: there are plenty of critical things you might never know about unless you have the brakes checked.

Skipping setback: Expensive rotor or drum replacement.