3 Important Brake Services to Have Performed on Your Vehicle

May 17th, 2024 by

A mechanic installing a brake caliper during a brake service near Mason.

Many drivers don’t realize just how many parts are working together to bring your vehicle to a stop when you push on your brake pedal. The moment you push down on this pedal, the master cylinder sends out the brake fluid, which creates hydraulic pressure; that pressure engages the brake pads, which then interact with your rotating rotors (or drums) to slow and stop your vehicle. That’s probably a lot more than you imagined happened when you pressed your brake, right?

The great news is that you don’t have to know everything about the intricacies of your brake system; that’s what our terrific service team is here for. If you’re looking for brake service near Mason, visit our brake experts. We’re here to take care of the routine services that are necessary to keep your brakes operating. Plus, when breakdowns occur, we provide brake repair services. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of brake services and repairs…

Brake Pad Replacement

So now you know that brake pads are the components that make contact with your rotors to slow down your vehicle—and as you can imagine, it’s important that these are in good condition. How often you should replace your brake pads depends on how you use your vehicle. Some experts say that if you mostly stick to city streets, you’ll need to replace your brake pads every 30,000 to 35,000 miles. That makes sense if you think about how often you hit the brakes in congested urban environments.

Alternatively, if you mostly do highway driving, you might be able to get away with only replacing your brake pads every 70,000 miles. Speak to one of our technicians about your vehicle model, as well as where you drive to determine the best brake pad replacement schedule for your needs. Signs it’s time to replace your brake pads include…

Shaking or vibrating: If your brakes shake and vibrate when you come to a stop, your brake pads might have suffered uneven wear and tear, causing them to make imbalanced contact with the rotors.

Delayed response time: If your brake pads are worn down, your vehicle might not come to a halt at its usual rate. This, of course, can put you at risk of a collision when you’re cruising at high speeds on I-71.

A screeching sound: If your brake pads are worn down, then metal is scraping against metal when you brake, which will cause a screeching sound.

These are just some of the signs you need to replace your brake pads. But if your brakes are performing less than ideal, visit us.

A close-up of brake fluid being poured into a brake fluid reservoir.

Brake Fluid Exchange

As we mentioned, every time you hit the brakes, the master cylinder releases brake fluid, so your vehicle goes through quite a bit of that fluid. In a brake fluid exchange, our technicians will fully flush out your old brake fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. Keeping your brake fluid fresh improves brake efficiency and can prevent corrosion. Most experts recommend flushing your brake fluid every two to three years. Some signs you need new brake fluid include…

A burning smell: If you smell something burning when you hit the brakes, your brakes might be overheating. This occurs when you’re low on brake fluid.

A spongy brake: If the brake pedal feels loose or “bouncy” and you need to engage it further than usual to come to a stop, you could need new brake fluid.

A squealing sound: If you hear squealing when you try to brake, it’s possible that low brake fluid has resulted in air bubbles in the brake lines. When this happens, the brakes might not effectively push down on the brake pads, leading to uneven wear and tear.

A puddle in the driveway: Unless you just spent a day at the lake at Corwin Nixon Park, then you know there shouldn’t be anything wet coming out of your vehicle. But if you see a puddle when you pull out of your driveway, your vehicle might be leaking brake fluid.

In some cases, you aren’t low on brake fluid, but your brake fluid is old and contaminated. Ignoring contaminated or low brake fluid levels can lead to bigger issues like rust and corrosion on other parts of the brake system.

Brake Rotor Machining

It’s important that the surfaces of your rotors remain flat and smooth. It’s the friction between the rotor, hub, and wheel that directs braking forces to your wheel. However, over time, your rotor surfaces can become uneven, which can lead to inadequate friction when they interact with the brake pads.

During brake rotor machining, our technicians use a lathe to remove metal from the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again. We’ll put the rotor on the lathe, which will then rotate past a cutting element that removes bumps and protruding parts. Many customers prefer rotor machining to rotor replacement because it can be more affordable.

We often recommend having our technicians examine your rotors when you have new brake pads installed to see if it’s time for rotor machining. This will ensure the new brake pads work effectively with the rotors. Signs you need rotor machining include…

A squealing noise: If you hear a high-pitched squealing when you press the brakes, your rotor could need machining. When it has uneven surfaces, it interacts with other parts of the brake system in ways it shouldn’t, and that can create screeching sounds.

A vibrating steering wheel: When your rotors are uneven, they can easily overheat during normal braking operations. This can result in an imbalance, which can lead to your steering wheel vibrating in your hands.

A pulsating brake pedal: An uneven rotor will wobble between your brake pads, which you can feel as a pulsating brake pedal when you push down on it.

It’s a good idea to have your rotors machined each time you replace your brake pads. However, depending on your driving behaviors, you might need to do it more often.

A close-up on a steel brake disc.

Get Your Brakes Checked

Days at Kings Island Amusement Park should be full of surprises, but days behind the wheel shouldn’t be. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of routine maintenance for your vehicle’s brakes.

Your brakes are arguably the most important safety features of your vehicle, so it’s critical that they work reliably and effectively. We reviewed just a few of the essential services our team can perform on your car’s brakes, but visit us, and we’d gladly inspect your vehicle to see what other services are required. Our friendly, knowledgeable technicians are always happy to answer your questions about maintenance and repairs and even give you tips on how you can extend the life of your vehicle through your driving habits.

We routinely run specials on services in order to bring down the price of maintaining your vehicle. We offer extended hours and we’ll even pick up your vehicle for you if you don’t have time to bring it in yourself. Plus, with every service, you get a free car wash, so your vehicle will run smoothly and it will sparkle! Visit us today at McCluskey Chevrolet for your brake repairs and servicing.