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I own an 2003 Acura TL with 31,000 original miles. I bought it in July *02. I was told by mechanic, last time I had an oil change around 2 mos. ago that I needed all new brakes after around another couple of thousand miles. How do I know if I do or not. The car stops on a dime. Thanks.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Elaine, Just because you don't feel anything obvious about the brakes doesn't mean that they don't need to be replaced. There are a couple things you can do to find out the status of your brake pads so that you know whether they need to be replaced or not. Under the hood there is a brake master cylinder reservoir. It will be close to the fire wall, right in front of the driver side. This plastic container holds brake fluid. Look at the bottle and see if it's low. Brake fluid will get lower as the brakes wear. This is why you should never add brake fluid to a vehicle. This is your warning device. When it gets too low the brake light will come on on the dash to let you know that your brakes need to be replaced. You could also ask the technician to show you the pads on the vehicle. New pads are almost 1/2 inch thick, anything less than 3/4 of that needs to be changed. Even though everyone drives differently, 30,000 miles is about average for brake pad replacement. Hope this helps! Lori Johnson

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