Maintenance Tips to Keep the Brakes of Your Pontiac Safari Working Smoothly
The brakes may not be the sexiest and most noticeable parts of your Pontiac Safari, but that does not mean they should be the least of your priorities in your routine maintenance. A well-maintained brake system assures you of safety every time you take your vehicle for a ride. To make it easier for you to spot and correct any brake problems before they transform into bigger and more serious (not to mention more expensive) ones, listed here are the warning signs you must watch out for and pay attention to immediately. If ignored or left unaddressed, you will run the risk of meeting an accident. That's too much price to pay, isn't it?
If your brake pedal vibrates when you press it under normal braking conditions, it means your brake rotors are warped. The vibration comes from the metal-to-metal friction between the uneven surfaces of the warped rotors and the brake pads. Typically, rotors warp after being subjected to tremendous stress for a long time. If you have not stressed your brakes lately (e.g., braking frequently while towing something heavy or driving along steep mountainsides), then the vibrations are caused by misaligned wheels.
A harsh grinding sound is your Safari's cry for help—because its brake pads are already wearing thin, and the calipers are rubbing against the rotors. This metal-to-metal contact produces the grinding sounds you hear when you apply the brakes. Change the brake pads right away, or suffer the consequences of having to spend more for replacement of your brake rotors that will get damaged when the pads are completely worn.
As a diligent, responsible Pontiac Safari owner, you know that you do not have to wait until you hear a grinding noise before you change your brake pads. Make it part of your routine maintenance to examine the thickness of the pads. After all, it is an easy procedure that you can do yourself—no need to take your car to the mechanic. Simply find the brake rotor located between the spokes of the wheels, locate the brake caliper around the outer edge of the rotor, and lastly, find the pad between the rotor and caliper. Check if the pad is at least 0.25-in. thick. If the pad is thinner than that, then you have to replace it immediately.
Does your brake pedal almost go down the floor before engaging the brakes? This could mean one of the following hydraulic system problems: brake fluid leak, air in the line, or an air leak. Check for a fluid leak by putting a white sheet under your car and letting it stay overnight. Check it first thing in the morning for any fluid it is able to collect. Brake fluid is clear and has the same consistency with cooking oil.
On the other hand, if the brakes are applied immediately at the slightest touch of the pedal, that is a sign of brake fluid contamination. Change your brake fluid as soon as possible.