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Expert Brake Services for Healthy Brakes

Brake maintenance is important in helping ensure the safety of you and your passengers. If your brakes are making a squealing sound, that may be a sign that you need brake service immediately. Consult a certified technician for a brake inspection any time you notice this sound or any irregularities in your car’s braking performance.

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Understanding Brake Parts: Brakes, Rotors & Brake Pads

One thing you can do as a vehicle owner is better understand the different moving parts that make up your brake system. When you press your brake pedal the brake pads create friction; in turn, the brake rotor disperses heat throughout the vehicle to keep the brakes themselves from overheating. Both are essential to the proper functioning of your braking system.

There are several braking issues that can indicate your vehicle needs brake repair work.

Get a brake service inspection if:

  • The brake pedal seems to be spongy or presses farther to the floor than usual
  • Your vehicle pulls to the right or left when you brake
  • Unusual noises or vibrations occur during braking

Many brake pads today have a built-in metal component that creates a slight squeal. The squeal increases in volume over time to alert you of the need for service. If you begin to hear a loud squeal, make sure to bring your vehicle to your local Meineke for a full, 23-point inspection.

Brake Service: Replacing Your Brake Pads

Brake pad replacement is the most common repair job for automotive brake systems. The reason is simple: brakes are designed to wear out. The pads rub on the brake disk to stop your car, so worn pads are the first part to check if you are experiencing any braking problems.

Assuming that you have the proper tools, the two most difficult aspects of brake pad replacement are the heavy weight of the caliper and the pistons. Without proper tools, adjusting the piston and calipers to fit over the new, thicker pads can be very difficult.

Since brake pads are only one possible problem with a brake system, there are other items to check as well. If the pads are worn thin or are cracked from heat during use, pad replacement may be necessary and the system should be inspected.

Current Brake Service Specials

All brake repairs and brake shops are not the same. At Meineke, we know cost-effective solutions are just as important as stellar service.

Visit our locations page to find current brake service deals at a center near you.

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Brake Service FAQs

A car in motion has a lot of kinetic energy, which is energy of motion. To stop a car, the brakes have to get rid of that kinetic energy. They do so by using the force of friction to convert that kinetic energy into heat. When you press your foot down on the brake pedal, a connected lever pushes a piston into the master cylinder, which is filled with hydraulic fluid. That hydraulic fluid gets squirted along a system of pipes into other, wider cylinders positioned next to the brakes on each wheel. This hydraulic system multiplies the force of your foot on the brake pedal into enough force to apply the brakes and make the car stop.

Brake pads convert the kinetic energy of the car to thermal energy by friction. Two brake pads are contained in the brake caliper with their friction surfaces facing the rotor. When the brakes are hydraulically applied, the caliper clamps or squeezes the two pads together into the spinning rotor to slow/stop the vehicle. When a brake pad is heated by contact with a rotor, it transfers small amounts of friction material to the disc, turning it dull gray. The brake pad and disc (both now with friction material), then "stick" to each other, providing the friction that stops the vehicle.

Brake rotors are an important component in the braking system that stops your vehicle. Brake rotors (they're also called brake discs) are what your vehicle's brake pads clamp down on to stop the wheels from spinning.

The brake pedal should feel firm through its entire travel. The harder that you push the firmer it should feel. A soft, spongy feel in the brake pedal is a sure sign of a problem in the hydraulic system. Issues such as air in the lines, failing calipers or wheel cylinders, or a weak flex line can feel soft when you hit the pedal. Your brake pedal should be firm and the brakes should feel solid and apply gradually.

A brake system flush includes removing the existing fluid and moisture out of the system and replacing it with new, clean, fluid. A brake fluid flush ensures proper brake system performance and increases the lifespan of your brake system components.

It varies from vehicle manufacturer. It’s always best to refer to your manufacturers schedule maintenance guide. However, it’s a best practice to replace brake fluid whenever doing a brake pad/shoe replacement.