Signs that you need new brakes and rotors

In Brakes by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

The braking system is one of the many parts of a vehicle that need to be taken care of.

In Northern Virginia — where there’s a lot of stop and go traffic — car brakes and rotors tend to wear out more quickly than other parts of the country.

So, if you are living or commuting in this region, it’s especially important that you make sure your brakes are working right.

When to replace brakes and rotors

How long do brakes last in Northern Virginia?

The lifespan of brakes varies and is based on different factors, including the vehicle make and model, the driving style – like whether you drive with one foot or two feet.

It also depends on if you’re commuting or driving around town. A lot of people don’t realize that commuting is heavy duty driving. Many also don’t know that parents who are just driving to school, running errands, and bring kids to soccer puts a lot of wear and tear on the brakes.

How do you know when to get new brakes and rotors if the time frame is different for each vehicle? There are signs you need new brakes.

These include a steering wheel that shakes or shimmies. You may also notice squealing, groaning, rattling and grinding sounds. This can be the result of parts becoming loose or not being lubricated enough.

Large amounts of brake dust building up on the wheels, and the brake pads and rotors experiencing excessive wear are also indicators of brake problems.

You should also have the braking system checked out if the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) warning light has turned on.

When looking over brakes, we check to see if the brake rotors are scoured and if the customer noticed a vibrating brake pedal. The brake pads could have plenty of thickness, but the rotors may have a variation where it feels like they’re pulsating when you press the brake pedal.

Drum brakes and disc brakes

There are two types of brakes — drum brakes and disc brakes. Both are made up of an array of components.

Drum brakes have two shoes that push outward and pull the drum up.

Brake pads, rotors and calipers are some of the parts that make up disc brakes. 

The wheels of a vehicle are connected to the brake rotors through the wheel hub. Calipers hold the pads that clamp against the rotor, stopping the wheel.

You should always replace brake pads and rotors at the same time. This ensures that they last a long time and work properly.

Most cars today have disc brakes in the front and rear. Some cars have disc and drum brakes.

Brake technology is available for some vehicles. 

Almost all BMWs, for example, have brake wear indicators that let you know when your brakes are getting low.

Steve’s Auto Repair offers brake services

Brake service doesn’t just refer to brake replacement. It also includes changing brake hardware, making sure the caliper slides are working correctly, and brake fluid exchanges. 

Brake fluid exchanges, which maintain brake parts and the braking system, should be conducted every 30,000 miles.

The technicians at our Woodbridge auto repair shop are able to perform these types of brake repair and do a complete brake job. We can also replace brake hoses and brake lines.

So, feel free to reach out if you live in the Woodbridge area and are thinking about typing “brake repair near me” into your preferred search engine.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.