Brakes are essential to the proper function of your vehicle. They’re responsible for bringing your thousand(s)-pound vehicle to a halt, making safe turns and slowing down. If your brakes are not maintained properly, you run the risk of damaging the vehicle or getting involved in an accident, which can cause serious injury to yourself and others on the road. For this reason, brake inspections and repairs are essential to the proper functioning of your vehicle and shouldn’t be neglected.
Signs It Might Be Time ++ Noises Squealing…we’re all familiar with that high pitched squeal emitted whenever we apply the brakes. The squeal comes from a sensor that lets you know your brakes are in need of servicing. In addition to any squeals you’ll want to listen for any harsh grinding noises indicating your brake pads are completely worn and the metal of your brake calipers are grinding against your rotors. If you hear grinding noises there’s no time to delay, bring your car into our shop straight away. If your rotors become damaged, your inexpensive brake job will soon mushroom into an expensive repair job due to having to replace the rotors. ++ Pulling Perhaps at least once during your lifetime you’ve been put behind the wheel of a vehicle that seems to have a mind of its own. While driving your wheel has a tendency to pull in one particular direction which makes you feel as if you’re constantly having to play a dangerous tug of war with the vehicle. While this may be an indicator you have a problem with your braking system, it can also indicate other things as well such as poor wheel alignment, worn tires or unevenly filled tires. If your car begins to pull, bring it in for a free inspection immediately. ++ Mushy Pedal or Stiff Pedal Your brake pedal may also be a good indicator that your car’s braking system needs an inspection. A pedal that feels too soft when applied or even “mushy” could indicate worn pads or even a problem with the hydraulic braking system. ++ Touchy Brake Pedal On the opposite side of the spectrum is the brake pedal that is overly touchy. If your brake pedal is sensitive to even the slightest touch, you may have an unevenly worn rotor, or your brake fluid may need changing. Again, bring your car in for a free inspection and we’ll diagnose it for you. Finally, the most dangerous of conditions is when it feels like your brakes are not sufficient enough to bring the car to a complete halt. Bring your car in for an inspection immediately to determine if there’s a brake line obstruction or if the vacuum system is functioning properly.
Mileage and Abuse There are three factors that must be taken into consideration in order to determine when a vehicle should be taken in for brake maintenance and repair: ++ Driving Conditions Every time you drive your vehicle and apply the brakes, the brake pads are used. This goes without saying…if your vehicle is a daily driver or used in stop-and-go conditions, the pads have a tendency to wear out faster. The size and the weight of the vehicle will also impact how fast the brake pads will need replacing. ++ How The Vehicle Is Operated If you live or travel frequently in the mountains or tow a trailer, be prepared to become a frequent visitor to our shop. The wear and tear of these road conditions are not the most ideal for maintaining brakes in good working condition. Aggressive drivers will also experience more wear and tear due to poor driving habits such as slamming on the brakes at the last minute before coming to a traffic light or stop sign. ++ Average Mileage Before a Brake Job Is Needed The mileage before a vehicle may need a brake job varies depending on the above factors. On average, a car can go up to 50,000 or 60,000 miles before needing to be taken in for a brake job.
What to Expect During a Brake Job ++ If your vehicle requires a full service repair… A full service repair will include replacing the brake pads, the shoes and also resurfacing the rotors/drums so they look/function like new. The brake calipers/hardware and brake fluid may also need to be replaced. The entire repair should be completed in a few hours or less, depending on the condition of your braking system and how extensive the repairs are. ++ Consider Having Other Maintenance Inspections Done at The Same Time While most brake jobs are quickly completed in a few hours, this is an ideal time to have a few other maintenance procedures performed (if your car needs it) to save time and possibly money. During the inspection, the wheels will be removed so the technicians can properly work on the braking system. Consider asking a technician to inspect your struts, wheel bearings, and also the tires themselves.
What You Should Know About Free Brake Inspections ++ Do your homework Free or reduced cost brake inspections are advertised all the time. While they may be a great opportunity to determine whether or not you need a simple or extensive brake job repair, you need to do your homework. This type of work is where disreputable shops try to save money by using substandard parts or sneak in unneeded parts and services. You’ll always be treated fairly at Elite Auto Repair, and you can trust our ASE certified technicians to do the job right the first time. ++ What Happens During the Free Inspection During the free brake check, the wheels will be removed and a visual inspection of the entire braking system will be performed. Occasionally you’ll be alerted to the wear and tear of the wheels and tires (if not ask so you can avoid another visit to our shop in the near future), the thickness of the brake pads will be measured and the condition of the rotors and brake calipers will be visually inspected as well. The Service Manager/Advisor will discuss their findings with you and make repair suggestions.
Conclusion Maintaining the braking system in any vehicle is critical to ensuring your safety and that of the public. While having a brake job performed may seem expensive in the long run, you can cut down on costs by taking your vehicle into our shop as soon as you begin to suspect your vehicle is due for routine brake maintenance.
Ditch the worry and concern and bring your car in for a free inspection today!
While our mild weather makes it attractive to many, it’s important to remember weather can be unpredictable regardless of where you’re located. Preparing your vehicles for winter and cold climates can be essential to the performance of your car. During the winter you don’t have to drive very far from the Valley of the Sun to find yourself in the pines, and in winter driving conditions.
All of us that have ever owned a vehicle, know that parts wear out and break down, occasionally leaving us on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Regular servicing and maintenance can help diagnose small issues before they become huge repairs, but no matter how much you keep your car in top shape, repairs are simply a fact of life for car owners. Depending on the type of repair needed, costs can be minimal or you might seem you need a second mortgage in order to pay the mechanic.