Some car owners often choose to do their own auto repair. That is fine, if you are doing the job correctly. Sometimes the owners do a bad job of things, and then sell the vehicle off to get rid of it. One such issue with this is a bad brake job. Here is how to recognize that your recent car purchase had a prior bad brake job and how to rectify it.

The Brakes Wear Unevenly

When your brakes wear unevenly, it means that the prior owner probably did his or her own brakes and only replaced one side at a time. Both sets of brakes on your car are worn, but one side is slightly more worn than the other. 

Brakes on Just One Side Are Shot

Another obvious bad brake job is apparent when the brakes on just one side of the vehicle wear down, scrape, and squeal. The brakes on the opposite side of the vehicle are hardly worn at all, and do not make a sound. Clearly, the previous owner was trying to pinch pennies by not replacing both brakes at the same time. While it may seem more economical to do this, the car's tires and wheels suffer for it. You should always replace BOTH sets of brakes, brake pads and shoes at the same time

Brake Fluid Is Leaking from One Side

Brake fluid lubricates the brakes so that they will close and grip the wheel/tire better. People who do their own brake work do not know that they need to "bleed" the brake line, and subsequently, the brakes are unable to lubricate themselves properly. Worse still, replacing just one side of the brakes can cause substantial brake fluid leaks, putting you in danger when you drive your vehicle.

How to Rectify It

First of all, take your vehicle into a licensed auto repair mechanic. He or she can replace both sets of brakes at the same time so that the future wear and tear on your brakes is fairly equal and you will not be back in the shop for brakes in a few months. The mechanic will also "bleed" the brakes and fill the brake fluid so that the brakes will function as they should. Never try to do your own brakes, unless you absolutely know how to do it right. Also, never try to save money by asking a mechanic to replace the brakes on just one side; that is actually a liability issue, and he/she is not likely to comply with your request.