Angie's List: Does Your Car Need New Brakes?

By: Tessa Darlington
By: Tessa Darlington

Do your holiday travel plans include hitting the roads this season? It's important to check now that your car is ready for the trip. In this Angie's List report, Tessa Darlington explains why a brake inspection should be part of that check-up.

There is enough to worry about when planning a holiday trip. Where are we going? How long will it take to get there? Do we have enough entertainment to keep the kids occupied? You're going to hear plenty of "are we there yet" and "I have to go to the bathroom," but there is one thing you don't want to hear.

"You'll hear a screeching noise that will sometimes go away when you apply the brakes or only occur when you apply the brakes," Fred Kuhn, a mechanic, said.

"If you start hearing noises with your brakes have it check out right away," Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks said.

Squealing or grinding can be the first sign your trip is heading for the ditch. Brakes are pretty essential for a long car ride. Getting them checked should be factored into your holiday budget.

"Brake pads from different companies start off anywhere from $100 up to $200, $300... it depends on the make and model of the car," Kuhn said.

"Brake rotors, again there is a large discrepancy between the two. They go anywhere from $50 a rotor up to $200, $300. On most cars you're looking at about $65 a rotor," he added.

There are plenty of signs something could be wrong with your brakes. The squealing and grinding are just two. If you hear a knocking noise, feel vibrations when applying your brakes, or just notice less pressure on your brake pedal... those could all be a warning that an inspection is due. Getting them checked could save you a few "bah humbugs" on your next holiday trip.

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