Angie's List: Car Check Up Recommended Before The Holidays

Updated: 11/21/2012 10:41 AM By: Ellen McNamara

Many of us will be traveling this week for Thanksgiving, but before the trip, you want to make sure your vehicle is ready.

In today's Angie's List report, we help you figure out if your car may have bad brakes, and what you can do about it.

If something does not sound right, bad brakes may be the reason.

"The grinding noise means uh oh," Mechanic Fred Kuhn said. "It means you've gone too long, and that usually requires replacement of the brakes and rotors."

Kuhn recommends taking your car to the shop immediately if you hear an odd noise.

"If nothing else, drive by and say, 'is this something I can wait on, or should I make an appointment and get it looked at,'" Kuhn said.

Kuhn says if the shop recommends replacing your brake pads, be prepared to spend some money.

"Brake pads from any company start from $100 to $200 to $300

Angie Hicks, founder of Angies List, says a car check up should always happen before a long road trip, and a mechanic should look at your brakes once every six months.

Regardless of the vehicle, brakes generally need to be replaced every 20,000-30,000 miles.