Angie's List: Check your brakes before hitting the road for holiday travel

Angie's List: Check your brakes before hitting the road for holiday travel »Play Video
Brakes are one car repair where you don't want to cut corners.
LEWISTON, ID - Do your holiday travel plans include hitting the roads this season? It's important to check now that your vehicle is ready for the trip.

"Many of us will be traveling over the holidays and we want to make sure our cars are going to make it to our destination," said Angie's List owner Angie Hicks.

"The last thing you want is to break down with all the family in the car and the presents," said Hicks. "It can be an utter disaster! Take your car into the mechanic for a once over before you hit the road."

While modern cars are more reliable than ever, they still need regular maintenance and your brakes are one car repair where you don't want to cut corners.

"You'll hear a screeching noise that will sometimes go away when you apply the brakes or only occur when you apply the brakes," said mechanic Fred Kuhn.

Another warning sign: Feeling vibrations or pulsations when you apply the brake pedal.

"Brake pads from different companies start off anywhere from $100 up to $200, $300 - it depends on the make and model of the car," said mechanic Fred Kuhn. "The newer cars are more expensive than the older cars and the pads are a different material. That's why they are more expensive."

As for finding someone to do the work...

"When looking for a mechanic you want find someone who has expertise with the type of car you have so they have the right equipment to run the diagnostics necessary," said Hicks. "Find that mechanic preferably before you have a big issue like your brakes. Use them for oil changes, that way you know you have a rapport and they know your car."

Many of us don't notice a needed repair until something changes, particularly how the car sounds. You're the most familiar with how your car is supposed to sound, so any new, unusual sound should be a call to action to contact a trusted auto repair pro.