Virginia Auto Service

How to Properly Maintain Your Brakes

How to properly maintain your brakes

The brake system in your car needs to be in 100% working condition at all times.

Why? Because the last thing you want to face when driving downhill or navigating tight turns is any kind of brake trouble. 

Most car owners tend to take their car brake systems for granted. They ignore the number one rule when it comes to maintaining the health of your car’s brake system – routine maintenance.

Routine maintenance is essential if you want to keep the brakes working properly and avoid any big repair and replacement costs in the long run.

Maintenance Aspects of your Car’s Brake System

  • Clean fluid is critical for ensuring the proper functioning of your car’s brake system. Regardless of the miles you have driven, it is important to have the brake fluid flushed every two years.
  • The reason? The brake fluid is responsible for absorbing moisture and contaminants (metal parts/shavings, dust) which tend to build-up over time – both of these can have a big impact on the overall performance of your car.
  • Changing the brake fluid not only helps in getting rid of contamination but it also helps in extending the life of other crucial components of the brake system such as the brake lines, the hydraulic parts, as well as the anti-lock brake modules.
  • Routine brake maintenance can involve the replacement of brake pads, discs, brake drums, and rotors, if these parts show considerable wear and tear.

When Should I Get a Full Brake System Check-up for My Car?

Instead of having your brakes checked up based on mileage, it is better to take your car in for a brake system check-up based on a car’s performance.

Keep in mind that driving conditions, weather, roads, age of the car, and your driving habits can all have varying effects on the brake system.

For this reason, Virginia Auto Service recommends routine brake system check-ups. You can ask your car mechanic to give your brake system a check-up either at regular oil changes or every 10K miles.

There are, however, a few instances or circumstances when brake system check-up should be higher up on your priority list. Consider the following circumstances:

Screeching, Grinding, or Squealing Noises

If you hear any of these noises it could be indicative of worn brake pads & shoes. We recommend having these replaced every 20,000 – 60,000 miles.

Brake Pedal Response

  • If you find that you need to press down harder and longer on the brake pedal to get your car to stop, then it is probably because of extensive brake pad wear and tear.
  • This could also be the result of too much air entering the brake valves due to a brake fluid leak.

Steering Wheel or Brake Pedal Vibrations

If you can feel a jarring or vibrations on the steering of the brake pedal, then it could be because the rotors are struggling under the pressure of “metal on metal” rubbing. This is a warning from your brake system so take it seriously. 

Burning or Noxious Smell

  • If you get a burning or pungent smell from your tires, get to your mechanic as quickly as you can – it could be because the brakes are overheating or there is problem with the clutch.
  • If you notice smoke coming from one of your car wheels, it could be because the brake caliper is stuck.
  • It is not natural or normal for your car to generate unfamiliar and pungent smells and only a professional mechanic will be able to identify the exact cause. 

Don’t Ignore Your Brake Warning Lights

If you notice the brake warning lights coming on, visit Virginia Auto so you can get this addressed. You don’t want to put yourself, passersby, or other cars on the road at risk!

Car Pulls to One Side When Braking

This usually happens when your brake hose is damaged or there is a caliper issue – one of the calipers might be administering more pressure than the other, causing the car to veer to one side.

Reliable Car Maintenance with Professional Auto Experts!

If you are facing any of the above-mentioned problems with your car brake system, visit us at Virginia Auto Service for a fast diagnosis and resolution of the problem. You can also reach us at 602-266-0200 or schedule a visit with us online at your convenience.