It’s back to school time, and Aussie families are shopping, preparing uniforms, getting equipment and dusting off the school bags in preparation.
Something that shouldn’t be forgotten, however, is the trusty family car!
Mechanics can be flooded with vehicles getting a last-minute check over and a service before hitting the road for school drop-off duties.
One of the most important safety aspects to check is the brakes.
It could mean between stopping safely or not at all.
Fortunately, Bendix has a checklist that’ll make a brake inspection quick and easy.
- Spongy brake pedal
Does the vehicle have a spongy brake pedal recently? If that is the case, it’s most likely time to do a brake fluid flush. The spongy brake pedal comes from air bubbles present in the braking system. With bubbles, the brake fluid cannot provide maximum pressure to the brakes, reducing braking capabilities. Brake fluid flushes should be done according to manufacturers’ recommended intervals. However, if there is no service history for the car, a brake fluid flush should be done for peace of mind.
- Low on brake fluid
If the brake fluid flush has been done recently, check the brake fluid reservoir and ensure that the fluid is at the maximum or full line. If there is brake fluid missing, it is normal, just top it up with the car manufacturer’s recommended brake fluid specifications (DOT3, 4 or 5). Make sure to only use brake fluid from a sealed, unopened bottle. As brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, brake fluid from previously opened containers will be unsafe to use.
- Brake pads
Visually inspect if the brake pads require replacing. For a thorough inspection, jack the car up and remove the wheels. Check if the brake pads have reached the wear marks or has uneven wear. Replace if its past the wear indicator or has uneven wear. It’s best to replace them with new brake pads if its worn close to the indicator. As long road trips are much harsher on cars, there is a chance the pads will be very worn before the journeys are over.