You may not think too much about your vehicle’s brakes until they fail in some way. But they’re a vital component of your safety as well as the health of your car. Check out these basics about brake service and what to look for when choosing a reputable Rocklin CA mechanic.
- Never take a chance with brake performance. Don’t wait to get a check of your brakes if you suspect something isn’t right with them.
- Don’t attempt fixing your own brakes. This is a very dangerous process because your car has to be put up on a lift, the wheels removed and components taken apart. It’s always recommended to take your car to a professional for brake service.
- Remember, you can’t count on brake service on a set schedule, such as every 20,000 miles or every 50,000 miles. Brakes may wear down after 17,000 miles or 55,000 – you never know. This will all depend on how far you travel, your individual driving habits and the road conditions.
Factors in Brake Wear
- Driving habits: If you’re regularly hauling a trailer or heavy loads, your brakes will wear out a lot faster than if you just have a small car and don’t tow anything. Are you a prudent driver who tends to keep a good amount of distance between yourself and the car ahead of you? In this case, you’re putting less wear and tear on your brakes than an impatient person who tailgates all the time.
- Where you drive: If you travel in stop-and-go traffic every day for work, or frequently drive winding mountain roads, your brakes will wear out more quickly. Also, off-road travel puts high demands on your brakes, as dirt and grime will degrade brake parts.
- Quality of previously-installed parts: Just like any other part of your car, brake parts will vary by durability and price. And don’t assume just because you installed premium parts that they will last longer. This isn’t necessarily so, particularly if they were not installed properly.
Brake Repair Questions
Recommendations and prices for brake service can vary by mechanic, quite greatly in fact. That’s why you should shop around and ask a lot of questions before committing:
- What is included in the price? Some shops will advertise a lowball price to replace just your brake pads, but if they discover any other problems while performing the service, the cost suddenly skyrockets. A good brake job should include adjusting braking mechanisms, flushing out old brake fluid and adding new, and resurfacing rotors.
- What is your turnaround time? Get an idea of how many days it will take for the mechanic to get you on his or her schedule, and how long the work will actually take once there. Do they offer same-day service?
- What is the quality of the parts? If your mechanic buys from a wholesale auto parts house, quality control could be all over the map. Those suppliers may buy from one manufacturer with a special price one day, and another the next. Find out what quality control measures the shop follows for parts.
- What is your approach to replacing parts? There are major differences in how brake repairs and services are done. It’s common for them to pull off the calipers, replace the brake pads, and re-install the unit. However, other parts of the brake system work just as hard as the pads that need TLC. For example, built-up grit on pistons can cause the brake pads to fail to disengage when you take your foot off the pedal, which leads to faster or more uneven wear. Problem is, it’s tough to inspect all of these parts without full disassembly, which is time consuming and increases the risk of something going wrong. Shoddy reassembly is a top reason why vehicles have to return to the shop after a brake job.
- What are your warranties? Ask the shop for details on the brake warranty before the service. If they say you get a lifetime warranty, ask if that covers both parts and labor, and ask if free brake inspections are included.
In the end, the choice of mechanic you make for brake repairs will depend a lot on the gut feeling you get when you meet with them. Trust is a vital part of the relationship between you and your mechanic!
Contact Mr. Fixit Auto Care
For a mechanic you can trust for quality brake service, contact us in Rocklin CA at 916-645-2293.