There are few items on a car that are more important than your brakes. Many of us when looking at cars and trucks are concerned with engine performance, fuel economy, handling and comfort but rarely do people ask the salesperson at the dealer how big the brake rotors are or how quick can a car go from 60 to 0. Most of us take for granted that our cars are very good at stopping and that is not just an accident. The brakes on your car are arguably one of the most important systems of the vehicle so how does an auto repair shop determine if you need to replace your brakes?
Most cars built in the last 20 years have disc brakes which consists of a disc that is sandwiched between two brake pads. The calipers have a piston that is compressed when you push in your brake pedal. This piston pushes the pads into the discs and the friction slows the car down. The system is pretty simple and recognizing when you need the braking system checked is also pretty simple. Here are the most common symptoms.
NOISE! – The manufacturers of brake pads put in a handy little indicator that tells you when the pads are near the end of their life. It’s a small metal tab in the pad that when the pad wears down to the metal tab it makes a squeaking or squealing sound. When you hear that sound it’s time to bring your car over to Quality Coaches and let us take a look. Sometimes newer cars have sensors in the braking system that tell you via a warning light on your dash that the pads are worn out. Usually the car will need a new set of pads and rotors installed if you hear the squeal or see the warning light. It may just be the front or the rear brakes and not the entire system that needs replacing. Most of the time the front and rear brakes wear out at different rates. This is perfectly normal. It’s also standard to replace the pads and rotors at the same time. New pads on old rotors are not recommended.
Vibration! – When you press on your brake pedal does your car vibrate, or does your steering wheel shake? If so, your rotors are most likely warped and need to be replaced. A warped rotor is out of true causing the vibration. One reason rotors get this way is typically from aggressive driving and braking like you’re driving a race car. It can also be caused by keeping your foot on the brake when driving or what is referred to as riding the brake.
Next time you get into your car look down at the rubber on your brake pedal. You’ll notice it’s more worn than the gas pedal. Stopping the 4,000 pound hunk of metal you’re driving is critical. At Quality Coaches we take the time to not only replace the parts in your braking system, but we also properly lube the working components of the braking system, check fluid levels, brake lines and more. Not all brake parts are the same so be careful when calling around to get your brakes done. If the deal seems too good to be true it most likely means corners are being cut. With such important cargo on board your brakes are not an area to skimp. At Quality Coaches auto repair shop we will treat your car as good if not better than our own cars and we love our cars!
If you have that squeaky sound coming from your brakes don’t just hope it will go away on its own. It won’t! Give us a call to schedule an appointment. We have loaner cars and we make it easy to come by drop your car in the morning, grab a loaner car and be on your way. We’ll call you when we are finished! It’s just that easy.