In Kelowna, our winter roads and driving conditions tend to be much better than those of our Albertan neighbours, but that doesn’t mean that we should let our guards down and ignore the need for winter tires and good brakes. When it comes to winter in Kelowna, an abundance of wet snow and rain can turn to ice as the overnight temperatures drop. Throw in the occasional road trip to Vancouver or Alberta, and it’s easy to see why winter tires and braking systems are so important in our region.
When it comes to winter driving in Kelowna, one can never be too sure about what may happen on the roads. From black ice to careless drivers, you need to be prepared for anything. That’s why it’s important that your brakes be in great condition; so that you can rely on them when you need them most.
How Car Brakes Work
Here are some signs that you may need to get your brakes checked:
Brake Warning Lights
People sometimes have a tendency to ignore the warning lights on their dashboard. We get it - it happens! But these warning lights are designed to keep you safe and to keep your vehicle in good working order. If your brake light comes on, call the auto shop and get your car in as soon as you can. It might be nothing, but most times, it is something.
If your brakes don’t seem to be responding as well as they used to, you should come in and see us right away. You shouldn’t have to stomp down on the brake pedal to make your brakes work, and while it is natural that your brakes won’t be “just like new” for the entire life of your vehicle, they should still be responsive to the touch.
Brake pads are designed to emit a high-pitched squealing or screeching when it is time for replacement. If the concerning noise isn’t enough to get you to bring your car in for a brake check, the irritating sound and public embarrassment might be. On that note, be sure to turn your music down and listen to your car at least once a week while you are driving. Quite often, drivers miss warning signs because they couldn’t hear over their music.
If you feel like your car is “pulling” to one side and trying to make turns on it’s own accord, it may be time for a brake check. This pulling can be a sign of a stuck caliper or uneven brake pads. Basically, one wheel is braking harder than the others, causing your vehicle to veer to the side.
If your car, steering wheel, or brake pedal vibrates or shakes when you are breaking, your brake rotors may be warped. This warping typically occurs when your brakes have been under tremendous stress, like mountain driving or towing trailers. The increase in braking and friction can cause the metal rotors to warp as they heat up, so if you feel vibration, book your vehicle in asap.
The changing of the season and the changing of your tires is the perfect time to have your brakes inspected. The team at Boyds Tire and Auto Service can check your brakes as we change out your tires, giving us an opportunity to spot any concerning issues before they can turn into big problems and accidents down the road. Our Kelowna auto shop is conveniently located in downtown Kelowna, just off of Hwy 97 on Water Street, so drop in or call to book an appointment today.