Brake Service and Repair in Albuquerque, NM
Brake Service and Repair in Albuquerque, NM
A car that won't start is a nuisance, but one that's unable to stop is downright dangerous. Without properly functioning brakes, you won't be able to bring your vehicle to a complete stop or even slow it down quickly. To ensure that doesn't happen, have professionals like our certified service experts at Chalmers Ford inspect your brakes regularly. Most mechanics will inspect them during routine maintenance appointments and recommend repairs or replacements if necessary.
The friction components, such as pads, shoes, rotors, and drums, should be examined at least once a year to ensure they have integrity and show appropriate wear levels. A mechanic should also check the braking system for leaks, corrosion, and proper brake fluid levels. If any of these elements are out of spec, it could lead to compromised braking performance, so it's important to address the issues quickly.
To help you stay on top of brake maintenance, we've compiled a reference guide detailing the telltale signs that your brakes need service and the various brake systems available. We've also outlined the benefits of having good brakes and the types available in modern cars.
Types of Brake Systems
While the basics of brake systems remain largely unchanged over the years, modern cars often employ more advanced designs. From traditional drum brakes to modern disc brakes and anti-lock systems, there are various brake types out there. However, the most common brake systems involve disc brakes and drum brakes. Here's a brief overview of some of the most common brake systems available today:
- Disc brakes: Disc brakes feature a brake rotor mounted directly to the wheel. When hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder is applied, a caliper (which holds the brake pads) squeezes the rotor from both sides. The friction between the pads and rotor slows and stops the vehicle.
- Drum brakes: This traditional setup includes brake shoes housed within a drum mounted inside the wheel. When the brake pedal is engaged, hydraulic pressure causes the brake shoes to press against the drum, creating friction and slowing the vehicle.
- Anti-lock brakes: Also known as ABS, this system uses an electronic control unit to sense when one or more wheels are about to lock up. If this happens, the system quickly reduces the braking pressure until traction is restored and the wheels are no longer locked, which keeps the tires from skidding on wet or slippery roads.
- Emergency brakes: This secondary braking system is designed to keep a vehicle stationary while parked and can also take over in emergencies if the service brakes fail. Cables that mechanically apply pressure to the wheels power the brake, and you'll usually engage it with a lever, pedal, or button located near the steering wheel.
Signs Your Brakes Need Servicing
While regular maintenance can help prevent major brake problems, there are some warning signs you should be aware of. If any of the following occur, have a professional inspect your brakes right away:
Squealing or grinding noises when stopping
A high-pitched squealing sound when driving indicates your brake pads may need to be replaced. Meanwhile, grinding noises when braking can be caused by various issues, such as a rock stuck in the caliper unit or worn brake pads. You can have one of our experienced mechanics look into such noises.
Vehicle pulls to one side when braking
If your car veers to one side when braking, it's a telltale sign you need to have your brakes serviced immediately. Uneven brake pad wear due to improper tire alignment and rotation can cause this. It's also possible that debris has built up in the brake fluid and needs to be flushed out and replaced with new fluid.
Vibrations or pulsations in the steering wheel when braking
Another indicator of a brake issue is if the steering wheel vibrates or pulsates while you're braking. This is usually caused by an uneven rotor and should be inspected by an experienced service technician.
Soft or spongy brake pedal
When you press your brake pedal, it should feel firm underfoot. If the pedal feels soft or spongy or has to be depressed all the way to the floor, it could indicate air or moisture in the brake system. Alternatively, it could indicate an issue with your master cylinder.
Benefits of Having a Reliable Braking System
Many drivers know regular brake maintenance is necessary for the optimal performance and safety of their vehicles, yet few recognize its numerous other benefits. Here's a look at some of the key advantages of having good brakes:
- A quieter ride: A worn brake system can produce squeaking, growling, or rattling noises when you apply the brakes — not exactly a pleasant experience. To ensure your ride is peaceful and quiet, it pays to have regular checkups to ensure all braking system components are working properly.
- Higher gas mileage: A vehicle with properly functioning brakes requires less fuel to maintain its optimal driving performance, resulting in higher gas mileage. This can translate to significant savings in your pocketbook if you keep up with regular brake maintenance.
- Improved safety: Well-functioning brakes give you greater control of your vehicle, allowing you to stop suddenly and quickly in dangerous situations. This can be a life-saving feature, as it increases your ability to prevent collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, and obstacles.
- Peace of mind: It's easy to forget the importance of brakes when they're working properly. However, when your vehicle is deprived of that essential system, you may feel unsafe on the road and even develop a sense of dread every time you drive. Investing in quality brake maintenance helps keep your brakes running smoothly and boosts your confidence on the road.
- Better handling: Regular brake maintenance is a must if you enjoy pushing your vehicle to its limits. Responsive brakes make handling tight turns a breeze and winding roads a delight.
Ultimately, having your brakes inspected and serviced regularly is an investment in yourself and your vehicle. Proper maintenance allows you to stay safe on the roads, save money at the pump, and enjoy a quiet and comfortable ride. So don't wait until it's too late — take your car in for regular brake checkups.
Chalmers Ford is your one-stop shop for all your brake maintenance needs. From brake pad replacement to rotor resurfacing, Chalmers Ford offers service specials that make it easy to keep up with your regular service schedule. We also have an extensive selection of new vehicles and used cars to fit every budget. Contact us today to schedule a brake service appointment.