Car Care Guide: Brakes
It doesn’t matter how great your car make look on the outside.
The interior can be spotless, your sound system can be jacked, and you may even have one of those massaging-bead car seats. None of that matters if your vehicle isn’t safe.
And the most important safety system is your brake system. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your brakes in good shape.
Why do you need to service your brakes?
Like nearly all the parts of your car, your brakes will undergo normal wear and tear. They’ll eventually need to be replaced for safety reasons but also so your car can perform the way it should.
You want to avoid letting them get to a point that they’re metal-on-metal. You’ll be looking at much more costly repairs, like rotor or drum replacement. It’s always best to follow your owner’s manual recommendations and yours might suggest flushing and refilling your brake hydraulic system periodically.
When your brake fluid gets contaminated, it can speed the corrosion process and cause other issues – especially if you have anti-lock brakes.
Here’s what typical brake service looks like
When you take your car to your trusted mechanic, this is what you can expect him to focus on:
- Inspecting brake pads, shoes, drums, rotors, master cylinders, wheel cylinders, brake hoses, calipers, brake hardware, and brake fluid.
- Resurfacing or replacement, if the drums and rotors are too worn.
- The parking brake, to make sure it’s functioning properly. In some cases, the parking brake pads and/or shoes may need to be replaced.
Signs and symptoms of brake trouble
Routine maintenance should head off any issues before they become too problematic, but it’s still good to know how your vehicle may act – or sound – when the brakes are going bad.
- The brake light on your dashboard is on.
- Squeaking, grinding, or squealing noises.
- Wobbling or vibration when you press the brakes.
- Leaking brake fluid.
- Soft or “spongy” brake pedal.
- Car pulls to one side when braking.
- You smell a burning scent while you’re driving.
- Bouncing brake pedal.
Trust your brake care to the pros
It’s never a good idea to let regular car care slide. Especially for something as important as your brakes.
The skilled auto technicians at Conrad’s know just how to handle all the intricate parts of your brake system and you can trust them to give your vehicle the care it needs. And not just for brakes!