The brakes are your vehicle’s most critical safety system, so you should have your brakes checked immediately if you expect any problems. Brakes are a normal wear item for any car, and eventually they will need to be replaced. (Factors affecting wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type, and the quality of brake lining material.) However, avoid letting your brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which usually means accelerating expensive rotor or drum replacement. Symptoms of a brake issue include pulling to one side during braking, a shaky steering wheel when brakes are applied, a pulsating brake pedal, a “mushy”-feeling brake pedal, noise when you brake, and the need to repeatedly add brake fluid to the master cylinder.