Brakes. With out them you’ll crash.
How do you know you have brake issues ?
Why is it important to get my brakes inspected at the first sign of a symptom?
When your car starts making weird sounds, feelings or smells, start investigating the concern sooner than later. Waiting will only lead to more expensive parts wearing out and requiring replacement. For example, rotors start to warp and become damaged when completely worn brake pads and shoes exceed their lifespan, shortening the life of healthy parts due to the metal on metal grinding that occurs.
What sounds, noises and sensations indicate I need brake repairs?
Pay attention. Sounds, smells and sensations signal brake problems:
- Screeching, grinding, squealing, rubbing and other loud piercing noises are common indicators that your brake pads & shoes require inspection. This should be addressed before worn pads cause damage to other parts, which could result in more expensive repairs.
- Vibration and pulsation in the pedal or your steering wheel. If this is a familiar feeling, your brake system is telling you something. Wait any longer, and your rotors might get warped from the metal on metal rubbing, potentially costing you a lot more in repair. Stop in to the mechanic oc as soon as possible when you have these sensations.
- Pressing down farther to come to a complete stop. This symptom is not as common as it used to be, but if you’re pressing down farther than usual on your brake pedal to stop your car, you have entered the first stage and sign of brake pad wear. Don’t play around with your brake pedal, you can only press so far before you’re in the, “I have no brakes” zone.
- Brake warning light. If your brake warning light comes on visit us as soon as possible and ask us to perform a free brake inspection.
What other warning signs can I look for if I think my brakes are wearing out?
There’s a lot of weirdness to every car’s braking system, so we’d rather not overload you with worst case scenarios and model specific warning signs. We wouldn’t want you to go through the trouble or worry of diagnosing a symptom that is rare and hard to detect on your own.
If you have questions about your braking system that weren’t described in the previous questions, please call us to schedule a brake inspection. Once and inspection is done we’ll diagnose the problem and provide an estimate for repairs.
How can I ensure my rotors last longer?
First, we’d like to praise you for your foresight and great wisdom in your pursuit to protect your ride. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss the dos and don’ts of successful braking.
- Do… reduce the stop and go grind. The more city driving, the more stop and go, the quicker the brakes wear down. Simple as that. This type of driving can wear brake pads down faster, which can warp rotors more quickly. If you constantly drive like this, take your car in for at least one brake inspection a year to check for problems.
- Do not… join the Brake Riders club. Know someone with their foot riding the brake, even when no braking is necessary? Riding your brake is the sure-fire way to wear your pads and warp your rotors from the excessive heat generated, especially at high speeds.
- Do… cruise with the pace of traffic. Obeying speed limits with conservative driving pays off by preserving the life of your brake parts. So don’t tailgate, leave enough room to decelerate and you’ll be all set. Doing so will generate less heat, friction and wear. It’s a win win for both the pads and the rotors.
- Do not… champion your aggressive habits. Aggressive driving leads to last minute braking. The result? Excessive heat cooking your rotors. Continue driving this way and you’ll continue to pay more for the brake damage that ensues. Think about how you can avoid this driving scenario and you just might save more than just your brakes.
Can you tell me the life expectancy of the rotors, brakes, pads, calipers, etc. you install?
Life expectancy is universal in all walks of life. Just as health and habits can affect the length of your own life, driving habits will determine the life expectancy of your brake parts.
- The hard parts are built for endurance: Rotors and calipers can last for years if you follow the recommended maintenance. But beware letting your brake pads wear down completely will only damage your rotors more quickly and lead to more expensive repairs.
- Time is on your side. Calipers are usually designed for the long haul, but their biggest enemies are heat and corrosion. Improper maintenance can create caliper corrosion and leaks caused by constant stop and go, worn pads and metal on metal grinding. Road salt and weather can lead to corrosion as well. So schedule an annual brake inspection, and we’ll provide a clearer picture on their current condition. See your vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended maintenance.
- It’s all a balancing act. If your suspension system’s shocks and struts are off balance, you’ve probably noticed a significant shift in your ride’s weight distribution. You’ll be able to gauge this if you can feel the front end nose dive after you brake. The distance it takes to stop is also longer, causing your front brakes to wear out faster.
- The Pulling Effect: If your car pulls to the left or right when applying your brakes, this may indicate your brakes or suspension are functioning poorly and are in need of inspection.