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Brake Repair -- Demystified

February 1st, 2016

At New England Car Care Centers in Warwick, RI, we do a lot of brake repair on customers’ cars. Since a set of brakes wears very gradually and can easily last Brake Repair in Warwick RI50-70,000 miles with the right driving habits, it can be hard to know when it’s time to seek out brake service. Here are some pretty sure-fire indicators that it’s time to think about brake repair:

Excessive brake pedal travel – the pedal goes almost all the way to the floor before the brakes engage and start to slow the car

Brake pedal feels “spongy” or soft underfoot – this can be a sign of either worn brake pads or air bubbles in the brake lines

Car pulls to one side while braking – this is sometimes a sign of a sticking caliper, collapsed brake line or dragging brakes on one side

Vibration or pulsating sensation through brake pedal – the brake rotors are unevenly worn and have developed a slight warp

Squealing or grinding noise – a squeal isn’t always a sign of worn brakes, as some brake pad materials are prone to making noise. In addition, some pads are designed with a wear indicator, a spring-steel tab that protrudes from the back and drags along the rotor when the pads reach a minimum thickness. A grinding noise, however, is bad news…it means that the brake pads have worn down to their metal backing plates and are digging grooves into the smooth steel surface of the rotors.

Loss of brake fluid – a rupture in a brake line

Longer stopping distances – self explanatory

Brakes won’t “hold” and brake pedal goes to floor gradually while stopped and in gear – while uncommon, this is a sign of a failing master cylinder.

One thing is for sure – any of these signs means that you’re not only in need of brakes, they also mean that your car is dangerous.  It’s also a certainty that the longer you put off brake repair, the more money it’s going to cost as you’ll have to replace the gouged-up brake rotors as well as the pads. Finally, bear in mind that if you address brake repair early, chances are you’ll only have to replace the front brake pads. Front brakes wear more quickly since momentum shifts the vehicle’s weight forward while braking and the front brakes have to do more of the actual stopping effort.

Don’t put off brake service. If you’re noticing any of these signs of worn-out brakes, give us a call at New England Tire Car Care Centers in Warwick, RI and make an appointment

Brake Repair -- Demystified was written by of New England Tire
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

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New England Tire Car Care Centers - Warwick

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Schedule an appointment with any of our New England Tire Car Care Centers at convenient locations in: Attleboro, Mansfield, Seekonk, Northborough, MA and Warwick, RI. Offering top quality auto repair, tires and wheel services, our ASE Certified Technicians are prepared to serve customers with vehicles of any make, model or budget. For over 38 years New England Tire Car Care Centers have proudly offered customers auto repair they can trust, at prices they can afford.