Brakes are pretty much the most important safety device on your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree that it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers. Additionally, it will also help save you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Brake System Components That Can Fail
The master cylinder, the heart of the vehicle’s braking system, holds the brake fluid when it is not being delivered to the brakes through the brake lines. If brake fluid leaks because the master cylinder is worn or brake lines are plugged or broken, the fluid cannot be delivered, and the brake pads will become ruined.
The brake fluid itself can become dirty or contaminated as it draws rust-causing moisture and picks up other debris, or it can break down from excess heat. Clean brake fluid is either clear or slightly yellow, while dirty brake fluid may be brown or even black. Old and dirty brake fluid can damage ABS brake systems internally.
The brake lines connect to the master cylinder through a combination valve, which combines a metering and proportioning valve. It regulates the pressure on the front and rear wheels to make sure both sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. A malfunctioning combination valve may cause the wheels to lock up.
Brake pads and shoes can be made of ceramic, metal or organic materials, while the disc rotors and drums they press against are made of metal. Because the pads and shoes create friction to stop the car, they gradually wear down over time and may wear away completely, letting the metal of the calipers and cylinders they are attached to grind against the rotors and drums and damage them. Some pads have a metal strip attached that sounds a warning whistle when the pad becomes too worn, but this strip sounds only when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.
What we do and what you need to know!
- We start with a test drive to see how the system functions.
- Then remove the wheels and pre-inspect system before dis-assembly.Rotors are measured here for thickness.If they can be turned we will be servicing them with our on car lathe that will remove all runout to a human hair or less.If they are below spec they generally will not be re-used.If they are replaced,we still machine the new rotors to remove all lateral runout in the assembly to .8 of 1000th of an inch (human hair or less).This is a crucial step that prevents rotor warpage in the future.
- Wheel bearings are serviced with new grease if possible.
- We dis-assemble the calipers from the brackets.All caliper brackets are thoroughly cleaned,inspected,and filed if needed.All slides are dis-assembled and lubed as required.
- Master cylinder is vacuumed of old fluid.
- Caliper bleeders are opened,Calipers are compressed and tested for sticking seals,fluid is cleaned away
- Top quality pads are installed,preferably with all new hardware. I generaly use the Napa/ADO series pads when possible.
- New fluid is added to master cylinder and system is compressed.
- All that for $112.5 per axle ($225.00 for all four wheels) plus parts.
- Pads usually run $60-$90 per axle
- Lifetime warranty on workmanship of parts (they will not squeak or excessivly dust)
- 2yr/24k warranty on labor.
- If you want the rest of the system bled/flushed the labor is $72 plus the fluid
- Caliper or installation of other parts may be extra,and are priced upon pre-inspection of the brake system.