Do Brakes Need to be Serviced? How often?

It is better to be safe than sorry, that’s the motto we live by. Whether you are driving a car, truck, SUV, or minivan, it is important that your vehicle has a good working braking system. When you lose control of your vehicle or have an accident because of faulty brakes, then it is too late to think about the importance of brakes.

Brake maintenance is not just for your safety but also for the safety of others on the road. Brakes are designed to stop your vehicle quickly once you step on the brake pedal. Under normal driving conditions this works well but when your brakes need servicing they may not perform as they should and if not serviced in time may lead to complete brake failure which can result in serious injury or death.

Read this as well 4 types of Common Car Brake and Wheel Noise

Signs Your brake needs servicing:

There are various indications that your brakes need servicing. Here are a few of them:

1. Your brake pedal feels spongy

This happens when the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir is low or contaminated. When this happens, the pedal may sink lower than usual and feel spongy. This will also cause a delay in braking action.

2. Your vehicle pulls to one side or vibrates when braking

If your vehicle vibrates excessively or pulls to one side when braking, then your brake components may need servicing. It is also important to check the wheels for uneven wear which may indicate problems with brakes.

3. Your brakes squeak or squeal

When brakes are worn out they make a squeaking or squealing sound. This happens because of the friction between metal brake pads and metal brake rotors. If you notice this noise from your brakes, it means that it is time to get them inspected by a professional.

4. You hear grinding noise while braking

A grinding or scraping noise means that you low on brake pad material and need new ones soon. If the grinding is loud then it can be a sign of faulty calipers, pads, or rotors which needs replacement immediately. Grinding may indicate that some components are loose or need adjustment. It is important to have your brakes checked by a professional if you hear this type of noise coming from your vehicle’s braking system.

5. Your wheel locks up while driving on wet roads and causes skidding

If your vehicle locks up while driving on wet roads then you may have bad front brake calipers. It is important to bring your vehicle to a mechanic to have it checked out before you cause an accident.

How often the brakes need servicing:

Depending on your driving conditions, you may need to get your brakes serviced on a regular basis. The following are some driving conditions that require more frequent servicing of your brakes:

1. If you drive often in bad weather (rain, snow, and ice) then it is better to get them serviced more often to maintain proper braking performance.

2. If you drive long distances often or do frequent mountain driving then you should schedule regular brake maintenance on your vehicle.

3. If you drive a heavy vehicle like a truck or minivan then you should consider getting your brakes checked more often because they will wear out faster than vehicles with lighter weight like cars and SUVs.

4. If your vehicle is used for commercial purpose (trucking or delivery) then you should consider scheduling frequent brake service as they tend to wear out faster than regular passenger vehicles due to the extra wear and tear that these vehicles go through in their lifetime. It is important to get brake checks done at least once every six months in order to maintain proper braking performance of any commercial vehicle.

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Expectations from brake servicing:

When you take your vehicle to the mechanic to get the brakes serviced, it is important to know what you want from them. Here are some of the common expectations that you may have:

1. Check brake pads and replace if needed

First, you will want the mechanic to inspect the brake pads to see how much pad material is left on them. In most cases, the mechanic will be able to tell you if you need new pads but sometimes they may not be able to do that. 

2. Check brake rotors and replace if needed

Next, the mechanic will check the brake pads for wear. The technician will also inspect the rotors to make sure they are not warped and if they are, then they will need to be machined or replaced. 

3. Inspect calipers and other brake components

You may also want them to inspect the calipers for any damage or leakage. If you find that there is a leak in the calipers then it will need replacement or repair. 

4. Check brake fluid level and top up if needed

Before top-up, it is important to drive your vehicle first on a test track so that they can inspect the brake pads for wear and decide whether they need replacing or not. The technician should also inspect the parking brake adjustment as well as all other components of your braking system such as ABS sensors, master cylinder, etc. with an electronic tester called a ‘pico-ammeter’ which measures resistance in volts. If you notice any problems then you should get it fixed immediately because if left unattended it may cause serious damage to your braking system in time.

5. Adjust brake system as per manufacturer’s specifications (this is done for a smooth braking action)

You can make an appointment with a reputable mechanic such as Auto repair service in Calgary and discuss your needs with them. This will help you to understand how often you need to get your brakes serviced and the type of maintenance required.

How to schedule Brake service:

You can schedule an appointment for brake service by calling the mechanic or by making an appointment online. You can also make an appointment by stopping by the auto repair shop in person and talk to a mechanic about scheduling a brake service. It is important to keep in mind that brake work may take some time so it is best to schedule it during the weekend or at night when you don’t have other plans.

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