Your brakes are arguably one of the most important systems in your vehicle. It’s critical that you have functioning brakes at all times so that you’re able to come to a stop and control your vehicle on the road. Brake repairs will be necessary to stay safe.

The problem with brake repairs is that they are often expensive. While you can do some preventative maintenance to keep the brakes working longer, repairs are inevitable at one point or another. Taking a DIY approach can be dangerous because of the many working parts – and if you do something wrong, your brakes could fail when you need them the most.

First, you need to understand the different brake parts. There are pads, rotors, calipers, and more. If you diagnose the wrong problem, you could end up wasting a lot of money. This is why professionals go to school. Certified technicians will understand how brakes work – and they have professional equipment to aid in the process.

It’s also important to understand that many brake parts sold in the United States contain asbestos. In some instances, there may be as much as 30% asbestos in the brake parts – and it’s entirely legal for it to contain the dangerous substance. Knowing that there is asbestos is vital so that you can take the necessary precautions. Otherwise, you run the risk of mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Cancer Network helps people who have been diagnosed by providing resources and other information. However, the goal is to try to avoid asbestos entirely whenever it can be helped.

There are a number of warning signs to tell you that you may need new brakes or, at the very least, some kind of brake service. Often, you’ll hear squeaking and squealing when you hit the brake pedal. Even a grinding sound can be heard at times, which can tell you that it might be time for brake pads or rotors.

If your brake pedal feels soft, it takes longer to come to a complete stop than normal, or you have a ‘brake warning’ light illuminated on your dashboard, these are also signs that you’ll want to have your brakes looked at.

By ignoring the warning signs, you put yourself in danger. Brake problems aren’t going to go away on their own. The reality is that many brake problems are only going to get worse. For example, if you don’t replace the pads in a timely fashion, it will cause added wear on the rotors and calipers. When that happens, more parts will need to be replaced – and that’s going to be a more expensive repair, too.

You don’t want to do anything that could be a health risk or a safety issue. Your brakes need to work properly. By knowing that there’s an issue, you can focus on making an appointment at a service center. Be sure that you have a certified technician working on the brakes so that you get a proper assessment of what’s going on, too. Once the brakes are fixed, it will allow you to drive with more confidence on the roads.