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Safe Brakes Are No Accident

BETHESDA, Md., June 3 -- When it comes to your vehicle's safety, brakes top the list of systems that need regular checking. The Car Care Council advises motorists to be aware of the warning signals when brakes need maintenance or replacement.

In recognition of June being National Safety Month, the Car Care Council is offering a free copy of its informative brake system diagram, available HERE. The illustration shows how a vehicle's braking system works and identifies the warning signs when something is wrong.

"We're offering the brake system diagram because the driving public needs to better understand how the braking system works and why it's so important to have it checked every year," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "If brake service is neglected, you're gambling with your safety, and the safety of your passengers and other drivers."

Chances are you'll be the first to know if you have brake problems. It is important to be alert and recognize the danger signs. If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should inspect your brakes. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.

For routine maintenance, it's important to check the vehicle's braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

As part of the "Be Car Care Aware" education campaign, the Car Care Council is also offering a free service interval schedule to help take the guesswork out of what vehicle systems need to be routinely inspected and when service or repair should be performed. The schedule can be printed for free from the Car Care Council's Web site.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.